Analysis: Saber-rattling in Strait of Hormuz
By Tim Lister, CNN
updated 9:25 AM EST, Wed December 28, 2011
“…Today, after decades of sanctions, Iran does not have the naval power to block the strait, and its aging air force would be no match for U.S. and gulf state fighter jets. But military experts say Iran could wage "asymmetrical warfare" -- involving mines and attacks by Revolutionary Guards' patrol boats. It has also developed a class of small submarines, three of which were launched last month, according to the Iranian naval commander quoted by the Fars news agency.”
Iran launches 3 new submarines
Islamic Republic expands fleet which according to estimates now sports 14 Ghadir-type submarines
11.26.11, 18:03 / Israel News
Iran has expanded its fleet launching three new Ghadir-classsubmarines, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced on Saturday.
"All parts of these submarines, including their body and their advanced radar equipment and defense systems, have been designed and manufactured by our country's defense experts and with the help of the Defense Ministry," the admiral said in a press conference.
Iranian submarine. As advanced as Western vessels
It is estimated that Iran now has at least 14 Ghadir-class submarines which are said to be as advanced as Western vessels.
The submarines are armed with torpedo missiles and were manufactured according to the geographical and climate conditions and specifications of Iranian waters.
Earlier Saturday, Iranian military officials hinted that Ghadir-class submarines improve the navy's ability to defend Iranian territorial waters.”
“Reportedly being mass produced [reportedly at a of $18 million each], the first of this class, Ghadir, has been paraded for the press. Although usually described as a mini-submarine, it is rather larger than Iran's other mini-subs. The Ghadir, with a displacement estimated at between 120 tons and 500 tons, is probably better described as a coastal or littoral submarine, similar in concept to the Italian Sauro class though significantly smaller. Photographs indicate it has a pair of bow torpedo tubes which appear to be 21" allowing them to fire typical heavyweight torpedoes. It could thus serve as a launch platform for the infamous Shkval rocket torpedo, which has been transfered to Iran.”
Cassi Creek: The submarines in the Iranian fleet are more akin to the 2-man suicide boats used by Japan in the 2nd World War attack upon Pearl Harbor than to any vessels in a modern blue-water navy. They remind me of the drug-smuggling submersibles in use by South American drug cartels than first line of battle submarines. If they are equipped to fire torpedoes and Surface to surface missiles, they will have little reload capacity.
It looks to be more of a high school home-coming float that a real warship. How many boxes of lentils must sacrifice their tops to buy this boat?
As for the rocket-torpedo “shkval”, the Iranians would do well to remember that the Soviets never deployed that beast to the fleet. It is likely that the “Kursk” was sunk by a hot-running unintentional ignition in an on-board “Shkval.” The Soviets and the follow-on Russians have no real regard for the Iranians and often sold them 3rd tier “monkey copies” of their technology; just as we did with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and in less hostile times, Iran.
The U.S. Navy has declared that the straits of Hormuz will remain open and that no civilized nation would attempt to close that waterway.
The gauntlet is thrown, armed conflict in the middle East is all but certain. Iran has committed the folly of believing its own bombast and lies.