Iran destroys mock U.S. aircraft carrier in naval wargames

Do you remember Iran’s mock Nimitz class flattop? Here’s what it was built for.

On Feb. 25, a mock U.S. aircraft carrier, was destroyed by missiles launched by Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps missiles during the IRGC Navy’s massive Payambar-e Azam 9 (The Great Prophet 9) drills in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

The model had first appeared in April last year, when images of the mock USS Nimitz class ship being assembled in an Iranian shipyard on the Persian Gulf had spread through social media.

Although the purpose of the fake carrier was not clear back then we mentioned the possibility the giant warship (adorned with several airplanes) might have been built to test weapons or serve as a training tool to develop tactics to attack a U.S. flattop in the Persian Gulf exploiting its vulnerabilities.

According to the FARS News Agency, the model came under attack and was destroyed by missiles and rockets fired from tens of IRGC speedboats; also a number of the IRGC cruise and two ballistic missiles were fired at the mock US aircraft carrier.

H/T to Giuliano Ranieri for the heads-up

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. Please. It’s a ruse and nothing more. Blowing up a smaller-than-scale carrier with NO Battle Group, Air Wing, or Self-Defenses like ALL of the *real* US Carriers have is like stepping on a bug and claiming victory over all insects. They have merely proven that they know how to blow up a floating barge. Let’s hope that they get a chance to experience the *real* power of the USS NIMITZ or any other US Carrier soon!

  2. Well, the report says that they are not showing their main capabilities. Also in a real attack they will use close to 50 missiles and attack from both air and shore. The speed boats can carry missles with 100 mile range. The battle group will be overwhelmed. They will be having missles coming at them from all sides including under water. The era of gigantic ships is over. They are just a big target floating on water. Iran’s Mosket or Ghader missles can sink a Carrier with one missle.

  3. If you fired 400 missiles on a ship filled with fuel and explosive ordinance, it would explode utterly, leaving nothing but a smear and debris. They shot at what amounts to a wooden mock -up, merely to try and shake sabers at the US, and they still failed to do a good job.

    • The mock up was hit. Why would Iran fill it with fuel and ordnance? There would be no need. The target was hit so the exercise was successful.

  4. Those ski boats wouldn’t get that close. These iranians need to just lead the charge and get this mass suicide done and over.

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