The New York Times reported today that Iran is building a non-functioning mock-up of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln at its Gachin shipyard, near Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf. Times said U.S. intelligence analysts studying satellite photos of Iranian military installations first noticed the vessel rising from the shipyard last summer.
The barge-type structure has the same distinctive shape and style of the Nimitz-class carriers, as well as the Nimitz’s number 68 neatly painted in white near the bow. Mock aircraft can be seen on the flight deck.
“Based on our observations, this is not a functioning aircraft carrier; it’s a large barge built to look like an aircraft carrier,” said Cmdr. Jason Salata, a spokesman for U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain. “We’re not sure what Iran hopes to gain by building this. If it is a big propaganda piece, to what end?” (The New York Times, 20 March)
Iran has previously used barges as targets for missile firings during training exercises. It was not clear when the mock-up will take its maiden voyage. Navy officials told the Times that it will presumably be shipped by rail on tracks that run through the shipyard, to its destiny in the Persian Gulf just a few hundred yards away.
Top Photo: Iran is building a mock-up of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in its Gachin naval shipyard, near Bandar Abbas. (Digitalglobe/The New York Times)
Bottom Photo: The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in April 2012. (Karolina A. Martinez/U.S. Navy/AFP—Getty Images/The New York Times)
This could be a helicopter carrier as earlier stated by IRIN. Or perhaps a mullah publicity stunt? Quite surprising that they would not try to conceal it though. However, it does show Iran's growing steel fabrication and manufacturing capabilities.
Indeed,this regime is run by crazies.
I wish I were running America.I would immediately sink every Iranian ship that comes out in the Persian gulf and bomb any ship defense near the gulf - using Iran's that's as a pretext. I'm always amazed by the civility and patience of the u.s..
Rationally speaking and without hyperbole, the US is having enough problems with the resurgent Russian Bear and taking on 78 million Iranians sitting on top of the Persian Gulf incendiary oil fields is not the most sensible thing to do. If anything, US needs to even mollify Iran even more now as its options from Ukraine to Syria are really running out. A war with Iran will turn the whole region into an inferno and US will be the ultimate loser. So let's not get carried away by wishful thinking. NOWROOZ MOBAREK.
It's a navy drone base. It's not secret either. They need actually to do their homework before coming to such bizarre and unlikely conclusions. I really wonder about US top brass. I don't know if they are spinning this as propaganda, but it's not intelligence in either sense of the word.
Seafaring target ship for IRGC-ASF ASBMs and various other missile types? If so, it would be considered "functional" for such a purpose.
There are historical examples of USN converting former warships for purposes of target ship(s), see HERE.
Since the IRGC doesn't possess a suitable warship for conversion, I guess they might have decided to build a mock up.
Interesting to see if this is indeed the case.
and Iran sit on their ass without retaliation. You are not even proper to run a small village.
This is obviously a Trojan Horse that the mad mullahs are going to use to sail to San francisco and invade the U.S's soft underbelly!!!
Probably it could be helpful to calm a bit down and try to articulate somehow reasonable, instead popping absolutely useless hatred bubbles. Substance, not hot thin air.
These "Mullahs" are running the country since 35 years and only amusing themselves about the never ending childish curse and lament.of a certain part of the middle class.
It would certainly not harm, trying to get information not exclusively over VOA.
Retaliate like they did in 1988 when the us crushed then, or like they did to Saddam when he crushed them?
Mark PyruzMarch 21, 2014 at 1:33 AM
This is most likely a test target for a strategic range ashbm in the df21 class based either on the sejil or ghadir missiles,interestingly iran unveiled just a few weeks ago a large EO seeker designed to fit a medium ranged missile,in order to accurately test the target acquisition and discrimination capabilities of the seeker you would need a realistic target,and this fits the bill nicely,in theory this would allow iran to target usn carrier groups 2000kms out into the indian ocean
AnonymousMarch 21, 2014 at 8:06 PM
And when exactly did saddam do this "crushing"?
Running the country into the ground indeed for the past 35 years.
Actually the whole Iraqi navy was wiped out by IRIAF airstrike Operation Morvarid (Persian:عملیات مروارید "Operation Pearl") at Umm al Qasr during the first days of crazy Saddam's invasion. Iraq never had a navy after that.
"And when exactly did saddam do this "crushing"?"
When he forced Khomenei to dring the "poison chalice" of an unconditional surrender. Go read any book on the war. Why lie to yourself?
We should rather ask you. What you refer to was the very end phase of the war when the conflict had dragged on for 8 years because of Khomeini's obsession with reaching Baghdad while Iranians forces were increasingly feeling the spares, equipment and ammo shortages provoked by a global embargo, and Saddam on the other hand was still getting full support from the very same coalition of actors (US, USSR, Europe, GCC States) lending them billions worth of anything they wanted, basically. Before that, until 1986, the Iranians actually beat the crap out of the invading Iraqi armed forces, namely during operation Morvarid as pointed above in which almost the entirety of their navy was sunk by a lightning operation from combined air and sea elements from Iran. Not to mention Kaman 99 where Iraqi airbases were crippled for several weeks and were rendered unable to support advancing forces into Iranian territory, breaking the momentum from the initial assault and allowing the Iranian to fully push back. In less than a full year Iran had regained its lost territory for little loss compared to Iraq, to the surprise of many. It was only after several years of bitter war of attrition due to Khomeini's foolish refusal of a diplomatic settlement brokered by Saudi Arabia, than the tables turned slowly in Iraq's favor , with most of the world at his side and Iran pretty much isolated. All that Iraq was able to do was to painfully repel Iranian forces from its own territory, it was certainly within its reach to get back much into Iran, I do not know by which broken standard any sane individual would call that a "crushing" let alone your ludicrous unconditional *grasp* SURRENDER. Factually quite wrong, but quite funny an assertion I have to admit, to say the least. Get your own facts right before advising people to go read books, a couple reads wouldn't hurt you either, obviously.
Quote: "Iraq never had a navy after that."
This is not true my friend. After that battle we recieved replacements from the Soviet Union and in 1990 Kuwaiti vessels were impounded and pushed into service with the Iraqi Navy for a short while. In addition we were supposed to take delivery of 10 more warships from Italy while the war with Iran was still going on, but the manufacturer never sent them because of a sudden embargo imposed by their own government. Iran didn't have the capability to eliminate or neutralize the Iraqi navy as the branch was still active and conducting missions past 1988. The US on the other hand did succeed in pretty much wiping out our navy in 1991 Operation Desert Storm and the UN sanctions that were imposed on us made it impossible to replace the losses. There was barely anything left in the inventory of the Iraqi navy when the Americans and the British launched their invasion back in 2003.
AnonymousMarch 22, 2014 at 4:08 PM
You mean the same one that saddam had accepted years before when he had failed to achieve even a single one of his military aims,apart from bankrupting and bleeding white his nation,generally when you sue for peace like saddam did its pretty clear that you are loosing
very well, I stand corrected on the replacement story. Still, by my intervention on this page my goal was rather to underline the quasi total loss of Iraq's main surface elements during the battle though, or in larger perspective, its very favorable outcomes for Iran rather than Iraq, to the other poster being seemingly quite self-satisfied and convinced about his take on Iran's shape through the war on the aforementioned points.
On a side note, I do not see many regional navies, including Israel's, that would have been able to do much more than Iraq's considering the massive coalition of forces that was taking aim at its forces all at once from literally all sides, on top of being already crippled by a critical unresolved war debt plus an ongoing sanction regime from the inside. We have to give them the desperate nature of their posture before bashing them altogether for their supposedly poor performance.
I answered you with a relatively lengthy comment, but it clearly didn't get through for reasons unkown.
In a short response... one could easily say that no navy in the world would be able to fight and survive the US navy, much less a mighty coalition of 34 countries which also comprised other significant naval forces from Europe. Yes, that would most certainly include Israel. Even China and Russia would be very hard pressed and unable to contend with US naval power.
I absolutely agree, China and Russia being the two single exceptions to that rule, having a very wide range of multi-layered interdiction and anti-ship means at their disposal, including ground, air, surface and sub-surface assets intended to be used in a fully defensive capacity, via hyper-sonic anti-ship cruise missile in the league of the deadly and modular 3M-54 Klub system in the exclusive case of Russia. But even then one can expect heavy losses for their armed forces before they can respond significantly to attacking USN forces drawing first blood in a surprise engagement. Anything beyond that anyway is pure speculation is not credible and amounts to theoretical war-gaming which holds no real value short of practical verification (which I do not wish since they would probably precede full-scale nuclear conflict between military superpowers)
I'm sure they could inflict some damage to a few major USN navy ships, probably sink a couple of smaller naval vessels, and shoot down a few USN aircraft but not to the extent that it would do any difference to the final outcome. They simply cannot match US naval power because they don't field as much equipment and weaponry due to high costs (compare the budgets of the militaries of the respective countries). Chinese and Russia have way fewer assets (both have an aircraft carrier each in service) versus US's ten. One doesn't have to look any further than the 1991 Gulf War where the Allied coalition lost around 75 aircraft (fixed-wing and rotary) to both our jet fighters and our SAMs and a part of an US army or marine base got hit with a Scud ballistic missile which wiped out a whole company of men. Even Israel was targeted by Scuds which resulted in widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure. So this goes to show that we were not entirely teethless. Whatever capability we had was enough to make our adversaries feel a bit of pain for all the effort that they put in. What i'm getting at is that the US is just too powerful for any country to be able to win a conventional war against them. Their military industrial complex has no equal anywhere in the world. Couple that with a huge economy which allows for investments across the board to pursue a multitude of advanced projects, not just in the US. And not to forget the close co-operation with other highly developed countries.
When I talked about Chinese and Russian capabilities in defeating an attacking USN side, I meant so assuming the defending side remains in a purely defensive posture, where USN attackers would have to close in to Russian or Chinese waters in order to inflict damage, which would limit the effective combat radius of their air assets in-land while allowing their respective air force bases and assets to be deployed with the specialized weaponry mentioned above in close vicinity of their logistical quadrants. Used from such an naturally advantageous position they would inflict catastrophic damage provided they do not attempt to take them head on with their own navies, there of course the USN is unmatched and will remain so in the coming decade.
If in such dire situation Iraq was able to kill 75 of their assets with badly coordinated, saturated, jammed, overwhelmed export versions of relatively dated air defense network, imagine what a layered, C3I structure can do in a country with such gigantic strategic depth as Russia and employing the full potential of its dozens of air-defense squadrons coupled with cutting-edge S-400s and even S-500s manned by proficient crews with thousands of hours of training in a few years. Let alone the remainder of their sub-surface carrier killers that the Pentagon has been quite wary of for years now, and their strategic fighter-bomber squadron with stand-off anti-ship capabilities. That is a lot for the USN to take in a full-fledged engagement, facing a highly-powerful country using its soil as a giant base of operation that cannot be sunk.
Now if you count full NATO involvement at Russia's land border, the whole game changes of course, but then we wouldn't be talking about a US/Russia or US/China confrontation as the rules will rather be about 2/3 of the world most powerful armies leagued against a single opponent, not exactly a fair kind of confrontation allowing any observer to gauge single army performance.
All in all, the USN cannot take on Russia or China in a purely offensive posture devoir of any support on land at the eastern side, specially in the Russian case. in turn, none of these countries have any credible capability to take on the USN alone specially if they try to draw first blood. That is basically why we will fortunately never see any of these entities go against each other in a conventional way, no matter the degree of tension related to a particular discord on international matter like it is the case nowadays in Crimea. Is is affordable to neither to get embroiled in a conflict potentially able to cut a significant part of their assets off their inventory and draw manpower at every level, WWII style. Those days are gone for good, at least I am hoping so.
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