Tag Archives: Islamic Republic of Iran Navy

Video shows Iranian Aircraft buzz U.S. Navy Destroyer, warn it to leave exercise area in Strait of Hormuz

Footage shows Iranian Naval Aviation Fokker 27 warn a U.S. Navy destroyer to leave training area

Several aircraft belonging to the the Iranian Air Force, Navy and Army are currently taking part in Joint Exercise “Mohammad Rasullollah.”

During the drills, Tehran’s maritime patrol aircraft overflying the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman have had some close encounters with U.S. Navy and UAE vessels operating in the same waters.

According to Iranian defense expert Babak Taghvaee, a very well-known author of several publications about the Iranian air forces and a regular contributor to some of the most read aviation magazines, the first such encounters occurred on Dec. 25 and 26 when the foreign vessels were spotted by an IRIAF (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force) P-3F serialled 5-8706.

On Dec. 28, an Iranian Naval Aviation’s Fokker 27-400M, serialled 5-2601, carrying journalists “buzzed” the U.S. Navy’s USS Gridley (DDG-101), a Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. Footage of the flybys conducted by the Iranian plane close to the American warship including radio communications was later released by FARS News Agency.

Similar encounters occur quite frequently in those waters and are almost routine: you can find several images showing Iranian, Russian or U.S. maritime patrol aircraft overflying foreign ships in the high seas all around the world.

Furthermore, foreign warships cross Iranian territorial waters in the Straits of Hormuz when entering the Persian Gulf, that’s why they are often “inspected” by Iranian Air Force and Navy planes.

Still, the footage in this post is particularly interesting as it is one of the few (if not the only) to let you hear the (quite polite) messages exchanged between the Iranian patrol aircraft and the U.S. warship.

H/T to Babak Tagvaee and ACIG.info for the heads-up. Footage, FARS via B. Tagvaee.


[Photo] Iranian plane flies close to US aircraft carrier. F-18 Hornet intercepts it.

In 2012 a P-3 Orion decided to fly close to a U.S. carrier at sea. And these images show what happened next.

The images in this post, published on an Iranian site (that is currently down) were probably between January and June 2012, when USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) operated in the Persian Gulf.

They show what happens each time an Iranian Navy Fokker 27 or P-3 Orion (as in this case) decides to skirt an American flattops that is operating within the Fifth Fleet AOR (Area Of Responsibility): it’s intercepted and escorted (in this case by an F/A-18E Super Hornet of the VFA-137 “Kestrels” in cool digital color scheme.

Since these maritime patrol planes fly in international airspace and don’t pose a real threat to the Strike Group, the aircraft carrier doesn’t need to take any real defensive action other than tracking the surveillance plane all time or divert one of its fighter jets to intercept it.

Aircraft carriers don’t even need to change their course if a spyplane pops up on the radar, provided that it is not armed and it doesn’t show an aggressive behaviour.

Every now and then even Iranian speedboats and maybe subs pay visit to the U.S. nuclear-powered carriers.

F_A-18 1

Image credit: Iranian Navy/Aerospacetalk.ir  via Militaryphotos.net

H/T to Bjorn Broten for the heads-up


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Once in a while a genuine video from Iran: Iranian Air Force F-5 nose-gear-up landing

In the last few weeks, beginning with the saga of the captured US stealthy RQ-170 drone and ending with the crisis in the Strait of Hormuz, with the alleged video of the U.S. aircraft carrier Stennis taken from an Iranian Fokker 27, I’ve often discussed about the authenticity of the footage released by the Iranian State TV or news agency, with the readers of this blog.

In the past, the Iranian propaganda machine has used doctored videos and fake images to spread its messages and this is the reason why many are doubtful each time new images showing Iran’s military achievement surface.

However, the one I’m posting below was just uploaded on Youtube (date is Jan. 1, 2012) and looks like it is authentic.

It shows an Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) F-5E performing a nose-gear-up landing at Dezful airbase also known as Vahdati Air Base, in southwest Iran.

The aircraft comes to a stop thatnks to the dragchute and, later, we see the pilot unhurt near its plane.

Actually, we can’t be sure whether the nose gear failed to come down or it collapsed after landing: the fact that someone was filming it (from a dangerous position) suggests the emergency was known before the aircraft landed, still, ground personnel seems to be unprepared to the management of the emergency, with people and cars initially rushing towards the plane and then coming back.

Dealing with the news, on Jan. 2, the IRNA news agency has published another picture, this time depicting the coast-to-sea long-range missile, named the Qader (Capable), with a range of 200 km and capable to target destroyers and battleships.

Delivered to the Navy in September 2011, the Qader is believed to be the most powerful missile of the Iranian Navy.

A short-range Nasr (Victory) cruise missile with the capability to destroy large vessels, and a surface-to-surface Nour (Light) “ultra-advanced surface-to-surface missile” were fired by the Iranian naval forces in the last phase of the Exercise Velayat-90, as well as a surface-to-air medium-range smart missile, named the Mehrab (Altar), equipped with anti-radar and anti-jamming systems.

To be honest, mainstream media have all broadcast the same image, with different captions, so my guess is that the one in this picture is the Qader, even if it might be a Nour (as affirmed by the IRNA website…wasn’t the Nour a surface-to-surface missile?).

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?

"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.

According to the news reported by the Iranian news agency IRNA, an Iranian warplane involved in the Velayat-90 exercise has identified a U.S. flattop near the Strait of Hormuz.

“This shows that the Iranian Navy keeps a close eye on the movements of all ultra-regional forces in the region and checks their activities,” said the Iranian Navy’s Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi.

The news came the day after the U.S. 5th Fleet, based at Manama in Bahrain, said it would not tolerate any disruption to the freedom of navigation in the area after Iran earlier threatened it will block the Strait of Hormuz if sanctions against Tehran are toughened.

Some western media have added that the Iranian spyplane took some photographs of the U.S. aircraft carrier it detected.

My first comment to the news was that if the situation was really serious, that would be the last thing that the Iranian spyplane will ever detect for various reasons.

First of all, a carrier air wing made of about 60 aircraft. For example, when I visited the USS Nimitz involved in Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009, the CVW-11 was made by  20 F/A-18C (VFA-86 and VFA-97), 12 F/A-18Es (VFA-14), 12 F/A-18Fs (VFA-41), 4 E/A-6Bs (VAQ-135), 4 E-2Cs (VAW-117), 4 SH-60Fs and 3 HH-60Fs (HS-6), a “mix” that, with minor differences, can be used as a reference.

Hence, among the aircraft included in an embarked air wing (worth a small autonomous air force capable to perform a wide variety of missions), there are also some E-2C Hawkeyes, aircraft that can perform Air Space Management and Tanker Coordination tasks, to manage and deconflict planes (as done for traffic flying in the Afghan airspace during OEF tasks) and provide the “picture” to the ship’s CDC (Combat Direction Center) that can be literally interconnected to any other AEW (Airborne Early Warning) platform.

The CDC is responsible for the tactical management of all the missions launched by the carrier, by means of fighter and mission controllers whose radar screens can be fed with the tracks discovered at long distance by the Hawkeyes, one aircraft of those is always flying and ready to guide interceptors (both on alert and flying) to the identification of intruders that it can detect from several hundred miles away.

Then, a U.S. Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier does not travel alone (as recently done by the Chinese trainer Varyag) but it is the flagship of a Carrier Strike Group that usually includes two AEGIS destroyers,  a Ticonderoga class missile cruiser, a Perry-class frigate and, although they are not officially attached to the CSG, a nuclear submarine and various supporting vessel, whose task is, among the others, to defend the flattops from enemy aerial or maritime attack.

As you may understand, such a huge force does not go unnoticed. Neither it wants to as its purpose is to deploy the air wing wherever it is needed for a Crisis Support Operation or to “flew muscles”.

So, unless the news is that “an ex-US RQ-170 stealthy drone now remotely controlled by the Iranian military” has identified the USS Stennis approaching the Strait of Hormuz, the fact that a spyplane has spotted or even photographed from a long distance an American nuclear flattop is absolutely trivial.

And will not change the outcome of an eventual war.