Iran has re-built a crude wooden mock-up of a U.S. Navy nuclear aircraft carrier at a shipyard alongside its Persian Gulf coast, readying it for the express purpose of being targeted in live-fire drills.
The fake, seen in satellite photographs obtained Tuesday by the Associated Press, resembles the Nimitz-class carriers the U.S. Navy sails into the Persian Gulf from the Strait of Hormuz, its narrow mouth through which 20 percent of the world’s oil passes.
Any attack on the defenseless vessel will mimick one that took place in 2015 and targeted what was essentially a crewless wooden barge outfitted to look — but not operate — like a carrier:
“They got this barge and threw some wood on top of it to make it look like the USS Nimitz. That’s all we know for sure,” a defense official said at the time, as reported by Breitbart News.
“We think they’re going to try to get some propaganda value out of it,” he said. “We find it very curious…We don’t know what Iran hopes to gain by building it.”
The 2020 replica carries 16 mock-ups of fighter jets on its deck, according to satellite photos taken by Maxar Technologies. The vessel appears to be some 650 feet long and 160 feet wide. A real Nimitz is over 980 feet long and 245 feet wide.
The fake carrier sits just a short distance away from the yard in which the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) unveiled over 100 new speedboats in May, the kind it routinely employs in encounters between Iranian sailors and the U.S. Navy.
Those boats carry both mounted machine guns and missiles, as Breitbart News reported.
Although the IRGC looks ready to attack the fake with its lightly armed speedboat forces, it neglects to heed one important naval fact, viz;
U.S. Navy aircraft carriers never travel alone.
They are always part of a larger force complete with escorts armed with close-in weapons systems designed to quickly take out surface combatants from a safe distance before they fire a single attacking shot.
More often than not, a U.S. Navy carrier battle group screen will consist of:
Two guided-missile cruisers.
A supply ship.
Still, Commander of the IRGC Navy Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri previously said his speedboat sailors are “not afraid of death.”
“Everyone is ready to sacrifice his life. We will show this in practice and we will hit the enemy…. wherever the Americans are, we are by their side and they will feel our presence more in the near future,” he added.
AP contributed to this report