U.S. Fifth Fleet vs Iran Navy update: American supercarrier monitored with…binoculars.

Here’s an update to my previous post titled “U.S. supercarrier detected by an Iranian spyplane near the Strait of Hormuz”. Trivial as that could be the last thing that plane will ever detect.

Russia Today has published the alleged video taken by an Iranian maritime surveillance plane of a U.S. supercarrier near the Strait of Hormuz.

Although it is extremely difficult to determine when the video was filmed, it shows the USS Stennis: if you see the video in full screen HD mode you’ll get a glimpse on the “74” code on the flattop’s island that designates the USS Jonh C. Stennis (CVN-74).

As shown by the video, the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy Aviation (IRINA) plane gets near the aircraft carrier (whose deck is not as busy as I’d expect…) and one of the most advanced tool used by the crew members of the Fokker F-27 used for maritime patrol to monitor the ship is….a binocular.

Furthermore, the IRNA news agency has published an interesting picture of the “Saeghe” (Thunder) an indigenously modified version of the American F-5 Tiger, whose twin tails and blue colour are loosely reminiscent of the Blue Angels’ F-18s Hornet, carrying two MK-82 Snakeye (?) dumb bombs.

According to the IRNA: “The combat jets bombed the sea areas after processing the data delivered by stealth reconnaissance aircraft.”

Which one?

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Here’s the detailed analysis that Iskandar has made on the images. To be honest, for a series of reasons, I believe that it is not a fake, however I’ll let you judge by yourself.
    Here’s the workflow he has followed:

    “I used ImageJ, to extract each plane to new file. Subsequently I have made a difference image using the Image calculation, which is under process tab. The resulting image has been improved for brightness and contrast by the Enhance contrast with Equalize histogram enabled. The resulting picture shows the combined differences (both way comparison) with the local high frequency bit edits, the smooths that are applied and the almost perfect alignment of the two planes, which is to my opinion not possible when these are two planes.”


    • Interesting.

      One thing that bugs me about this possibility is that I was under the impression that the picture with the two planes were taken from a video.

      If that is the case(?) then I don’t suppose the idea of such an amount of manipulations will hold up.

  2. Btw, I know a pilot that was on the Stennis during this incident…he said what don’t see in the video are the dozen or so F-18s flying above the Iranian plane.

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