Iran builds another fake US aircraft carrier to practice blowing it up

US-Iran tensions grew in May 2019 when Iran mined ships and shot down a US drone.

An F/A-18E Super Hornet attached of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 143 hooks up to a catapult on the flight deck of U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Gulf, in this picture taken August 27, 2019 and released by U.S. Navy on August 27, 2019 (photo credit: MICHAEL SINGLEY/US NAVY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
An F/A-18E Super Hornet attached of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 143 hooks up to a catapult on the flight deck of U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Gulf, in this picture taken August 27, 2019 and released by U.S. Navy on August 27, 2019
(photo credit: MICHAEL SINGLEY/US NAVY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Spotted off the coast of Iran in recent days is a mock-up of a US Aircraft Carrier. The giant fake ship was seen near Bandar Abbas port, an area where the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps operates, and it is thought to be for training or propaganda. This is one of several such mock-ups Iran has built in the last decade to show off their capabilities fighting the US “great Satan,” as the regime refers to America.
Reports show that the aircraft carrier may be 200 meters long and has at least 16 fake warplanes on the deck. Navy Times notes that an actual US aircraft carrier of the Nimitz-class is 300 meters long, so the Iranian model is big, but not quite big enough.
In February 2015 Iran fired cruise missiles at another model and blew part of it up. Iran said that version was 202 meters long. In March 2014, when that earlier fake aircraft carrier was spotted, Iranian media tried to spin it as a “movie set.” Later it was used for target practice.
It seems that the original 2014 model, the “movie set” was the same one strafed and attacked in 2015 and that it was towed to port on the barge it rests on. Then in October and November last year, amid US tensions, the Iranians began repairs. It was seen by satellite in December 2019 and was undergoing repairs.
US-Iran tensions grew in May 2019 when Iran mined ships and shot down a US drone. In September, Iran attacked Saudi Arabia with drones. In April this year, Iranian fast boats harassed US ships.
The US has been playing cat-and-mouse with Iranian vessels and harassment in the Gulf over the years. In April last year there was a build-up of naval vessels. In addition, after the mining incidents in the Gulf of Oman in May and June 2019 there was more naval commitment. US President Donald Trump threatened to sink Iranian fast boats in April 2020.
Iran is proud of its IRGC fast boats and their ability to harass the US. In April 2010 it unveiled “high destruction” fast boats. It showed off a video in September 2018 of harassment of US ships. Sometimes the Iranians take US warnings seriously, such as January 2018 when they stopped bothering US ships. But in the April 2020 they showed off weapons and did donuts around US ships.
In July 2019, the USS Boxer used a US Marine-operated special new counter-drone system to jam and warn off an Iranian drone. In April 2019, Iran showed off drone footage of a US carrier to embarrass the US. Something similar happened in August 2017.
The Iranian fake carrier has real implications. December 2019 reports indicated that Iranian fast boats drove alongside a US Nimitz-class carrier called the USS Abraham Lincoln as it transited the Strait of Hormuz. Iran claims it got 100 new fast boats in May, so it may want to test them against the fake carrier. Despite this, so far the US still has the upper hand. In December, the USS Forrest Sherman caught Iran smuggling weapons to Yemen via a Dhow, and the Normandy found more Iranian weapons in February 2020.


Tags Ship US Navy