As I previously wrote, Iran just completed several days of live fire drills in the Strait of Hormuz, where the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGC-N) attacked and “destroyed” its fake 2/3 scale replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier. Intended more as a target of propaganda for Iran’s “fearsome” capabilities, the modified barge is not supposed to be sunk but instead refurbished and reused for future drills.
However, in another embarrassment to the regime, while towing the target barge/dummy carrier back to port at Bandar Abbas, it apparently sank accidentally (RELATED: Info Wars – U.S. Navy Mocks Iran as ‘Experts’ at Making a Dummy Aircraft Carrier). And, to add insult to injury, as Forbes reported, it sank “in very much the wrong place.”
The location of the dummy carrier’s sinking, Forbes explained, just outside the harbor entrance to Bandar Abbas, near to the main approach channel, “will likely create a serious headache for the Iranian Navy and IRGC-N.”
According to a tweet from Aurora Intel:
New imagery from yesterday shows the capsized #IRGC replica of the Nimitz Class Carrier appears to have listed more outside of Bandar Abbas Port, #Iran. She appears more listed here than previous imagery from the 31st July. The depth here is a reported 14m. Fun to reclaim…. pic.twitter.com/tKTHJAaGCS
— Aurora Intel – #StayHome (@AuroraIntel) August 2, 2020
Forbes describes the commercial satellite photo in more detail:
The image is taken from above, and shows that the carrier is listing at about 90 degrees. The starboard (right-hand) side is facing upwards. As you look at the image, the carrier was heading from right to left of the image when it succumbed to the waves.
At 45 feet of depth, the water there is too shallow for Iran to simply leave it to submerge since ships sailing over it face a real danger, notes Forbes. And, as the satellite images from a couple of days ago show, part of the wreck was still partly above water. This is a serious shipping hazard and the Iranians must salvage it.
But, as Forbes notes, “the effort required, and time, will strain Iranian resources. Although Iran has recovered vessels and aircraft from the sea, it does not appear to have a serious salvage capability to call on. This may be why it appears abandoned in the satellite imagery.”
Last year Iran did recover substantial parts of the U.S. Navy Global Hawk drone it shot down, but it was more likely salvaged from floating debris. Regardless, Forbes adds, recovering a small drone is one thing, “dismantling a sunken [fake] aircraft carrier is another.”
Let’s see what Iran does about this latest embarrassment.