‘They watched us and we watched them’

U.S. cruiser spots 2 Iranian subs in Gulf

USS Vicksburg (CG 69) spots two Kilos:

Crew members aboard the cruiser didn’t consider the encounters hostile, although it wasn’t clear if the Iranian boats surfaced within view of the cruiser or if the U.S. warship happened to see the Iranian subs while they were already running on the surface. Iran has a fleet of three Kilo-class SSKs, according to Jane’s Fighting Ships.

[Capt. Chip] Swicker indicated the Vicksburg was close enough to Iranian waters at the times of the encounters that crew members didn’t consider it out of the ordinary to see Iranian navy vessels.

But subs on the surface? With the US Navy in the area? Were they trying to send a message? Or just incompetent?

UPDATE: DJ Eliott explains the surfaced subs:

The subs are based at Bandar Abbas. At the top of the SoH. Since they bounced one off the bottom a few years ago, they have made sure they have deep water before submerging and that is well into the shipping lanes…

Don’t forget the alleged supercavitating Hoot torpedo.

Meanwhile: Iran launches stealth sub

Iran’s second domestically produced submarine, equipped with an anti-sonar system, was launched in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas on Wednesday.

The modern submarine of the Ghadir class became operational during a ceremony commemorating Navy Day, the Fars News Agency reported.

The light underwater craft, outfitted with the latest military and electronic equipment, was designed and manufactured in cooperation with Iran’s universities over the course of 10 years.

Though I certainly don’t want to risk underestimating diesel subs of potential enemies, my guess is that this homegrown sub is roughly the equivalent of the homegrown fighter Iran rolled out some time back.

And the pressure is building: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards patrol Persian Gulf, U.S. says

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has taken command of Iranian naval operations in the Persian Gulf, the U.S. military has revealed.

That means U.S. naval forces are operating in the same waters as an organization the United States considers a major supporter of terrorist activity…

The move is of concern to the U.S. Navy, which has long viewed the IRGC’s forces as more antagonistic than Iran’s regular navy.

Mullen said Iran made a “strategic decision” in recent months to “essentially give the entire Gulf to the IRGC over the next four or five years.”

Those who argue that Iran has not hostile intentions and should be treated just like any other peaceful nation simply choose to ignore the fact that the more extreme factions within Iran continue to gather more internal power.

Comments

  1. The subs are based at Bandar Abbas. At the top of the SoH. Since they bounced one off the bottom a few years ago, they have made sure they have deep water before submerging and that is well into the shipping lanes…