Sunday, 1 January 2012

Iranian Website: This Is How We'll Close Strait of Hormuz



In response to threats by Western countries to impose oil sanctions on Iran, the Iranian website Mashreq News, which is close to Iranian military circles, posted an article on December 15, 2011 outlining military measures that could be taken by Tehran to close the Strait of Hormuz should the regime choose to do so.
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The article enumerated the forces and weapons that Iran could employ in such a military operation, including fast attack craft carrying anti-ship missiles; submarines; battleships; cruise and ballistic missiles; bombers carrying laser-, radar- and optically-guided missiles; helicopters; armed drones; hovercraft; and artillery.
It stated that despite Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's statements that Tehran would not initiate a military confrontation but would retaliate harshly if attacked, "there is no guarantee that [Tehran] will not launch a preemptory strike on the civilian level, for instance through cyber-warfare or by means of economic pressure, including by closing the Strait of Hormuz and cutting off [this] energy lifeline for an indefinite period of time." It added, "Should additional sanctions be imposed on Iran, especially in the domain of oil export, Iran might keep [its] oil from leaving its territorial waters."
In a further threat, the article stated that Iran would in the future be able to attack the 480-km pipeline with a capacity of 2.5 million barrels/day[1] that the UAE is planning to build in order to bypass the Strait of Hormuz in order to neutralize Iran's ability to disrupt the world's oil supply: "As for the plan... to construct a [pipeline] from the UAE that will be an alternative in times of emergency in case the Hormuz Strait is closed, we should note... that the entire territory of the UAE is within range of Iran's missiles, [so Iran] will easily be able to undermine security at the opening of this [pipeline] using weapons to be discussed this report."
In accordance with Iranian doctrine, the article pointed out that these weapons would actually not be necessary because there would be suicide operations, and added that "the faith of the Iranian youth, and their eagerness to sacrifice their lives, will sap the enemies' courage."
Despite statements by Iranian government spokesmen, including Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi and Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast, that the closing of the strait is not currently on Iran's agenda,[2] Majlis National Security Committee member Pervez Sarouri said that the Iran would be conducting 10 days of  naval maneuvers, called "Velayat 90," beginning December 24, 2011, to drill closing it.[3]
Satellite_view_of_the_Strait_of_Hormuz_connecting_the_Persian_Gulf_to_the_Sea_of_Oman
Satellite view of the Strait of Hormuz connecting the Persian Gulf to the Sea of Oman
Kayhan editor Hossein Shariatmadari, who is close to Khamenei, called on the regime to announce immediately that Tehran would close the strait to vessels  from the U.S., Europe, Japan, or any other country participating in imposing oil sanctions on Iran.[4]
At a press conference on the subject of the Velayat 90 naval maneuvers, which commenced on December 24, Iranian Navy Commander Habibollah Sayyari said that his forces would be capable of closing the strait if asked to do so.[5]
It should be noted that Iranian officials have previously threatened to close the strait as a means of deterring Iran's neighbors and the West (see previous MEMRI reports from 2010, 2008 and 2007).[6]
The following are the main points of the Mashreq News article on closing the Strait of Hormuz.[7]
Fast Attack Craft
The article stated that since it first introduced fast attack craft  for use in the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), the Iranian navy has immeasurably improved the craft's "ability to face advanced enemy combat vessels, much less cargo ships. These boats are equipped with sea radar systems; advanced electronic communication systems; sea-to-sea cruise missiles, both short-range – 25 km – and medium range; medium- and large-caliber [sic] torpedoes; and naval mines, along with traditional means of warfare – including semi-heavy machine guns, missile launchers, and shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles. These sea craft are capable of blocking the Strait [of Hormuz] for a brief or an extended period, and of facing enemy warships trying to open the route.
Iranian_Fast_Attack_Boats"In addition to their high speed and abovementioned equipment, these sea craft are highly maneuverable. Their ability to operate at night, aided by the requisite accessories, as well as in stormy weather, has been demonstrated repeatedly in recent years, in maneuvers both minor and major. Their successful record includes stopping submarines from countries beyond the [Gulf] region that aimed to cross the Strait of Hormuz, and supporting [Iranian] submarines threatened by enemy warships in the Indian Ocean... Iran has various types of naval mines, both stationary and remote controlled. This weapon [i.e. the mines] may, if necessary, be operated by Iranian boats and submarines [located at] various points in the Strait of Hormuz and the surrounding waters."
Submarines
The article continued: "The Iranian navy's acquisition of submarines... some 20 in number... has rendered it more powerful than the navies of the [other] countries in the region. Iran's submarine craft can use torpedoes, mines, and missiles, and can remain submerged for weeks in order to accomplish a mission. Apart from the Russian Kilo class submarines, the Nahang, Ghadir, and Fateh class submarines have been pre-fitted for the waters around Iran, especially the Persian Gulf... These submarines can remain stationary in the water and can evade various enemy radar and sonar systems...
"The Kilo class submarines can carry 24 mines or 18 large torpedoes, while the Fateh class submarines can carry 12 torpedoes and/or eight mines. In addition, there have been reports in the international media stating that Iran has equipped the Kilo class [submarines in its fleet] with Hoot torpedoes...
"The Ghadir class submarines can also successfully participate in the operation [to close the strait]... [These] are small submarines manned by one or several people. Known as 'wet submarines,' they are used for commando operations, laying mines, and firing torpedoes... and can operate in narrow and shallow areas."
Warships
The article stated that "Iran has various classes of missile ships, warships, and destroyers. These marine craft are capable of launching four 'Nour' anti-ship missiles, which have a range of 120-170 km, [even] over 200 km. Additionally, these warships' 114mm and 76mm guns... can threaten various [types of] ships. [Iran's] warships can [also] threaten submarines while simultaneously operating together with the rest of the [Iranian naval] force in closing the Strait of Hormuz."
Iranian_Warships
Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles
It continued: "We divide Iran's missile force into two groups: cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. They possess a wide variety of ranges and destructive capabilities. Coastal launchers for Kowsar short-range missiles and for Nour and Ghadir missiles [with a range of some 200 km] have so far been displayed, and the Naser-1 medium-range missiles are launched from Qare'a triple-barrel missile launchers. These launchers are independent, meaning that if they are deployed near the coast, they could detect and identify naval targets and attack them without the need for supporting systems from [Iranian] air and naval units.
Iranian_Cruise_Missiles
"These systems can cover most of the Strait of Hormuz if deployed and camouflaged 70 to 150 km deep into Iranian territory, or even in the Kerman province [in southeastern Iran]. The Iranian armed forces possess these systems in abundance, and they are ready for deployment."
Ballistic Missiles
The article noted: "...Thus far, three types of anti-ship ballistic missiles have been displayed in Iran: Khaleej-e Fars, Tondar, and Sejil. Khaleej-e Fars missiles, with a 300-km range and a 650-kg warhead, are designed to destroy enemy warships. The missile can be prepared for launch in a few minutes due to its use of solid fuel and advanced guidance systems. It strikes the enemy ships from above, traveling at Mach 3, reaching [the target] in a short time and at an acute angle.
Iranian_Triple_Barrel_Missile
"The triple-barrel launcher for these missiles provides sufficient firepower from the first launch; it increases the operational effect of the missile, while decreasing the enemy's ability to retaliate. Based on photos of the missile, it uses an electronic guidance system, which ensures its effectiveness even against the enemy's electronic warfare. The missile's speed, angle of approach, and impact from above are effective points in its modus operandi. We can estimate that the enemy's chances of intercepting it are miniscule.
"The Tondar missile, whose range is estimated by experts to be 150-250 kilometers, operates alongside the Khaleej-e Fars missiles as a short range ballistic missile... and their combined operation can significantly raise the chances of hitting the target... The [Tondar] missile can cover the Straits of Hormuz from deep inside Iranian territory. The Khaleej-e Fars missile can cover the Western Sistan-Baluchestan area, the Kerman province area, eastern and southern Fars province, and all of the Straits of Hormuz."
Persian_Gulf_Map
"The most terrifying of all Iranian missiles is the Sejil long range missile. It has commonly been considered merely a surface-to-surface missile, but the armed forces recently announced that it can also be used to destroy naval targets. Although not much is known about the missile's guidance and targeting systems, the missile has shown great accuracy in hitting a predetermined target. This missile, with a range of 2,000 km, can reach speeds of Mach 8 to Mach 12 (2,700-4,100 meters per second)... Its warhead weighs at least 500 kilograms, helping it to destroy the target. This missile can be used to cover regions beyond the Strait of Hormuz even if deployed on the northern Iranian coast, or at the most distant point in northwest Iran. It is a two-stage rocket powered by solid fuel, and reaches great speed at the end of the first stage [of launch]. It is difficult for the enemy to detect and track it during the first stage, because it uses several methods to reduce its radar signature... Thanks to its high velocity, the chance of it being hit by enemy defense [systems] is even smaller than the chance that they will hit a Khaleej-e Fars missile.
"Such missiles would be launched from deep inside Iranian territory because scattering launchers over a larger area will make it difficult for the enemy to detect them, will limit the means the enemy will be able to use to destroy them, and will also allow the launchers to be relocated and re-camouflaged.
"Although the enemy is much more likely to detect lower-velocity missiles... the combination of the use of these weapons in areas both closer and farther away from the shore and the increased number of targets... can maintain their effectiveness."
Bomber Jets
The article stated: "Iranian fighter jets can carry various types of air-to-surface missiles that can operate against naval targets, including air-to-surface missiles with optical, laser, and radar guidance; Nour and Ghadir missiles adapted for aerial use; C-801K and C-802 missiles; as well as Kowsar and Naser missiles. [Iranian] Air Force jets can carry up to five such missiles.
Iranian_Bomber_Jets
"Additional missiles for naval targets include: limited range TV-guided Maverick missiles; Qassad-1 and Qassad-2 optically guided bombs with a range of 30-50 kilometers (Qassad-3 bombs, with a range over 100 kilometers, will become operational soon); and Russian-made KH-25 and KH-29 missiles with laser and optical guidance, which can be mounted on Su-24, Su-25, and MiG-29 jets. Their range is 10km-30km, and they have medium destructive capabilities.
"In addition, KH-58 long-range anti-radar missiles, which can be mounted on Su-24 jets for attacks on enemy warships, will play an important role in closing the Strait of Hormuz.
"The array of missiles and bombs with varying ranges will assist Iran in operating remotely against enemy frigates and warships."
Helicopters
"The Shahed 285 helicopter can carry Kowsar anti-ship cruise missiles, and Mi-171 helicopters can launch Nour long range missiles, and apparently Ghadir missiles as well. These helicopters, along with Cobra attack helicopters, can threaten merchant vessels and enemy warships."
Anti_Ship_Helicopters
Flying Boats
"Only one model of flying boat has thus far become operational in Iran. In fact, it is a new type of plane that can land on the water, and can be equipped with anti-ship missiles. This boat can take off from the water, from various points on Iran's coast, and can operate against enemy warships together with aerial defense."
Drones
"The Iranian army drones are used for anti-ship missions. The Karar drone can carry four Kowsar missiles. Due to its speed, the drone can increase the potential energy of the missiles and extend their range. The drone has a range of some 1,000 km; it is launched by a rocket, and when it reaches the correct range, it launches the missiles. Karar drones can carry dozens of missiles to the enemy warships.
"The Karar drone is made from materials that allow it to evade radar detection and get close to enemy vessels. Nevertheless, the drone can also use missiles like Naser-1, for large areas."
Iranian_Drone_and_Surface_to_Air_Missile
Artillery and Surface-to-Sea Rocket Systems
The article also claimed that Iranian security officials several times pointed out that guided bombs are actually being used against moving naval targets. It said that the range of Iranian artillery shells is over 40 km, and that they can be used to harm or destroy enemy ships. It added that during maneuvers, Iran had successfully utilized the Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 rocket launchers against naval targets.
January 2nd - On This Date


1919 H27 Submarine HMS H27 completed
1945 Alcide Submarine HMS Alcide laid down
1942 HMS Thunderbolt HMS Thunderbolt torpedoes and damages the Italian merchant Anna Capano off Argostoli, Keffalonia Island, Greece.
January 1st - On This Date


1910 C37 Submarine HMS C37 launched
1914 E18 Submarine HMS E18 laid down
1915 E33 Submarine HMS E33 laid down
1915 E47 Submarine HMS E47 laid down
1917 K4 Submarine HMS K4 completed
1915 E48 Submarine HMS E48 laid down
1918 L57 Submarine HMS L57 laid down
1918 H52 Submarine HMS H52 laid down
1931 Sturgeon Submarine HMS Sturgeon laid down
1904 Umpire Submarine HMS Umpire laid down
1945 HMS Statesman HMS Statesman sinks fous small Japanese vessels with gunfire north-east of Sumatra.
1945 HMS Thorough HMS Thorough sinks a Japanese sailing vessel with gunfire of the west coast of Siam


In response to threats by Western countries to impose oil sanctions on Iran, the Iranian website Mashreq News, which is close to Iranian military circles, posted an article on December 15, 2011 outlining military measures that could be taken by Tehran to close the Strait of Hormuz should the regime choose to do so.

The article enumerated the forces and weapons that Iran could employ in such a military operation, including fast attack craft carrying anti-ship missiles; submarines; battleships; cruise and ballistic missiles; bombers carrying laser-, radar- and optically-guided missiles; helicopters; armed drones; hovercraft; and artillery.

It stated that despite Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's statements that Tehran would not initiate a military confrontation but would retaliate harshly if attacked, "there is no guarantee that [Tehran] will not launch a preemptory strike on the civilian level, for instance through cyber-warfare or by means of economic pressure, including by closing the Strait of Hormuz and cutting off [this] energy lifeline for an indefinite period of time." It added, "Should additional sanctions be imposed on Iran, especially in the domain of oil export, Iran might keep [its] oil from leaving its territorial waters."

In a further threat, the article stated that Iran would in the future be able to attack the 480-km pipeline with a capacity of 2.5 million barrels/day[1] that the UAE is planning to build in order to bypass the Strait of Hormuz in order to neutralize Iran's ability to disrupt the world's oil supply: "As for the plan... to construct a [pipeline] from the UAE that will be an alternative in times of emergency in case the Hormuz Strait is closed, we should note... that the entire territory of the UAE is within range of Iran's missiles, [so Iran] will easily be able to undermine security at the opening of this [pipeline] using weapons to be discussed this report."

In accordance with Iranian doctrine, the article pointed out that these weapons would actually not be necessary because there would be suicide operations, and added that "the faith of the Iranian youth, and their eagerness to sacrifice their lives, will sap the enemies' courage."

Despite statements by Iranian government spokesmen, including Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi and Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast, that the closing of the strait is not currently on Iran's agenda,[2] Majlis National Security Committee member Pervez Sarouri said that the Iran would be conducting 10 days of  naval maneuvers, called "Velayat 90," beginning December 24, 2011, to drill closing it.[3]
Satellite_view_of_the_Strait_of_Hormuz_connecting_the_Persian_Gulf_to_the_Sea_of_Oman
Satellite view of the Strait of Hormuz connecting the Persian Gulf to the Sea of Oman

Kayhan editor Hossein Shariatmadari, who is close to Khamenei, called on the regime to announce immediately that Tehran would close the strait to vessels  from the U.S., Europe, Japan, or any other country participating in imposing oil sanctions on Iran.[4]
At a press conference on the subject of the Velayat 90 naval maneuvers, which commenced on December 24, Iranian Navy Commander Habibollah Sayyari said that his forces would be capable of closing the strait if asked to do so.[5]

It should be noted that Iranian officials have previously threatened to close the strait as a means of deterring Iran's neighbors and the West (see previous MEMRI reports from 2010, 2008 and 2007).[6]
The following are the main points of the Mashreq News article on closing the Strait of Hormuz.[7]

Fast Attack Craft
The article stated that since it first introduced fast attack craft  for use in the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), the Iranian navy has immeasurably improved the craft's "ability to face advanced enemy combat vessels, much less cargo ships. These boats are equipped with sea radar systems; advanced electronic communication systems; sea-to-sea cruise missiles, both short-range – 25 km – and medium range; medium- and large-caliber [sic] torpedoes; and naval mines, along with traditional means of warfare – including semi-heavy machine guns, missile launchers, and shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles. These sea craft are capable of blocking the Strait [of Hormuz] for a brief or an extended period, and of facing enemy warships trying to open the route.

Iranian_Fast_Attack_Boats"In addition to their high speed and abovementioned equipment, these sea craft are highly maneuverable. Their ability to operate at night, aided by the requisite accessories, as well as in stormy weather, has been demonstrated repeatedly in recent years, in maneuvers both minor and major. Their successful record includes stopping submarines from countries beyond the [Gulf] region that aimed to cross the Strait of Hormuz, and supporting [Iranian] submarines threatened by enemy warships in the Indian Ocean... Iran has various types of naval mines, both stationary and remote controlled. This weapon [i.e. the mines] may, if necessary, be operated by Iranian boats and submarines [located at] various points in the Strait of Hormuz and the surrounding waters."

Submarines
The article continued: "The Iranian navy's acquisition of submarines... some 20 in number... has rendered it more powerful than the navies of the [other] countries in the region. Iran's submarine craft can use torpedoes, mines, and missiles, and can remain submerged for weeks in order to accomplish a mission. Apart from the Russian Kilo class submarines, the Nahang, Ghadir, and Fateh class submarines have been pre-fitted for the waters around Iran, especially the Persian Gulf... These submarines can remain stationary in the water and can evade various enemy radar and sonar systems...
"The Kilo class submarines can carry 24 mines or 18 large torpedoes, while the Fateh class submarines can carry 12 torpedoes and/or eight mines. In addition, there have been reports in the international media stating that Iran has equipped the Kilo class [submarines in its fleet] with Hoot torpedoes...

"The Ghadir class submarines can also successfully participate in the operation [to close the strait]... [These] are small submarines manned by one or several people. Known as 'wet submarines,' they are used for commando operations, laying mines, and firing torpedoes... and can operate in narrow and shallow areas."

Warships
The article stated that "Iran has various classes of missile ships, warships, and destroyers. These marine craft are capable of launching four 'Nour' anti-ship missiles, which have a range of 120-170 km, [even] over 200 km. Additionally, these warships' 114mm and 76mm guns... can threaten various [types of] ships. [Iran's] warships can [also] threaten submarines while simultaneously operating together with the rest of the [Iranian naval] force in closing the Strait of Hormuz."

Iranian_Warships
Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles
It continued: "We divide Iran's missile force into two groups: cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. They possess a wide variety of ranges and destructive capabilities. Coastal launchers for Kowsar short-range missiles and for Nour and Ghadir missiles [with a range of some 200 km] have so far been displayed, and the Naser-1 medium-range missiles are launched from Qare'a triple-barrel missile launchers. These launchers are independent, meaning that if they are deployed near the coast, they could detect and identify naval targets and attack them without the need for supporting systems from [Iranian] air and naval units.

Iranian_Cruise_Missiles
"These systems can cover most of the Strait of Hormuz if deployed and camouflaged 70 to 150 km deep into Iranian territory, or even in the Kerman province [in southeastern Iran]. The Iranian armed forces possess these systems in abundance, and they are ready for deployment."

Ballistic Missiles
The article noted: "...Thus far, three types of anti-ship ballistic missiles have been displayed in Iran: Khaleej-e Fars, Tondar, and Sejil. Khaleej-e Fars missiles, with a 300-km range and a 650-kg warhead, are designed to destroy enemy warships. The missile can be prepared for launch in a few minutes due to its use of solid fuel and advanced guidance systems. It strikes the enemy ships from above, traveling at Mach 3, reaching [the target] in a short time and at an acute angle.

Iranian_Triple_Barrel_Missile
"The triple-barrel launcher for these missiles provides sufficient firepower from the first launch; it increases the operational effect of the missile, while decreasing the enemy's ability to retaliate. Based on photos of the missile, it uses an electronic guidance system, which ensures its effectiveness even against the enemy's electronic warfare. The missile's speed, angle of approach, and impact from above are effective points in its modus operandi. We can estimate that the enemy's chances of intercepting it are miniscule.

"The Tondar missile, whose range is estimated by experts to be 150-250 kilometers, operates alongside the Khaleej-e Fars missiles as a short range ballistic missile... and their combined operation can significantly raise the chances of hitting the target... The [Tondar] missile can cover the Straits of Hormuz from deep inside Iranian territory. The Khaleej-e Fars missile can cover the Western Sistan-Baluchestan area, the Kerman province area, eastern and southern Fars province, and all of the Straits of Hormuz."

Persian_Gulf_Map 
"The most terrifying of all Iranian missiles is the Sejil long range missile. It has commonly been considered merely a surface-to-surface missile, but the armed forces recently announced that it can also be used to destroy naval targets. Although not much is known about the missile's guidance and targeting systems, the missile has shown great accuracy in hitting a predetermined target. This missile, with a range of 2,000 km, can reach speeds of Mach 8 to Mach 12 (2,700-4,100 meters per second)... Its warhead weighs at least 500 kilograms, helping it to destroy the target. This missile can be used to cover regions beyond the Strait of Hormuz even if deployed on the northern Iranian coast, or at the most distant point in northwest Iran. It is a two-stage rocket powered by solid fuel, and reaches great speed at the end of the first stage [of launch]. It is difficult for the enemy to detect and track it during the first stage, because it uses several methods to reduce its radar signature... Thanks to its high velocity, the chance of it being hit by enemy defense [systems] is even smaller than the chance that they will hit a Khaleej-e Fars missile.

"Such missiles would be launched from deep inside Iranian territory because scattering launchers over a larger area will make it difficult for the enemy to detect them, will limit the means the enemy will be able to use to destroy them, and will also allow the launchers to be relocated and re-camouflaged.

"Although the enemy is much more likely to detect lower-velocity missiles... the combination of the use of these weapons in areas both closer and farther away from the shore and the increased number of targets... can maintain their effectiveness."

Bomber Jets
The article stated: "Iranian fighter jets can carry various types of air-to-surface missiles that can operate against naval targets, including air-to-surface missiles with optical, laser, and radar guidance; Nour and Ghadir missiles adapted for aerial use; C-801K and C-802 missiles; as well as Kowsar and Naser missiles. [Iranian] Air Force jets can carry up to five such missiles.

Iranian_Bomber_Jets
"Additional missiles for naval targets include: limited range TV-guided Maverick missiles; Qassad-1 and Qassad-2 optically guided bombs with a range of 30-50 kilometers (Qassad-3 bombs, with a range over 100 kilometers, will become operational soon); and Russian-made KH-25 and KH-29 missiles with laser and optical guidance, which can be mounted on Su-24, Su-25, and MiG-29 jets. Their range is 10km-30km, and they have medium destructive capabilities.

"In addition, KH-58 long-range anti-radar missiles, which can be mounted on Su-24 jets for attacks on enemy warships, will play an important role in closing the Strait of Hormuz.

"The array of missiles and bombs with varying ranges will assist Iran in operating remotely against enemy frigates and warships."

Helicopters
"The Shahed 285 helicopter can carry Kowsar anti-ship cruise missiles, and Mi-171 helicopters can launch Nour long range missiles, and apparently Ghadir missiles as well. These helicopters, along with Cobra attack helicopters, can threaten merchant vessels and enemy warships."

Anti_Ship_Helicopters
Flying Boats
"Only one model of flying boat has thus far become operational in Iran. In fact, it is a new type of plane that can land on the water, and can be equipped with anti-ship missiles. This boat can take off from the water, from various points on Iran's coast, and can operate against enemy warships together with aerial defense."
Drones
"The Iranian army drones are used for anti-ship missions. The Karar drone can carry four Kowsar missiles. Due to its speed, the drone can increase the potential energy of the missiles and extend their range. The drone has a range of some 1,000 km; it is launched by a rocket, and when it reaches the correct range, it launches the missiles. Karar drones can carry dozens of missiles to the enemy warships.

"The Karar drone is made from materials that allow it to evade radar detection and get close to enemy vessels. Nevertheless, the drone can also use missiles like Naser-1, for large areas."
Iranian_Drone_and_Surface_to_Air_Missile
Artillery and Surface-to-Sea Rocket Systems
The article also claimed that Iranian security officials several times pointed out that guided bombs are actually being used against moving naval targets. It said that the range of Iranian artillery shells is over 40 km, and that they can be used to harm or destroy enemy ships. It added that during maneuvers, Iran had successfully utilized the Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 rocket launchers against naval targets.

Hundreds of workers needed to put out daylong fire on Russian submarine

  New York Times 
 MOSCOW — The authorities in Russia marshaled more than 400 firefighters and 170 emergency workers to extinguish a fire Friday that had raged for almost a day on the hull of a nuclear submarine in dry dock near the northern port of Murmansk. Seven sailors and two emergency workers were treated for smoke inhalation.
 On Thursday, enormous plumes of smoke and flame lit the sky above the submarine, the 550-foot Yekaterinburg, a Delta IV-class vessel commissioned in 1985. Officials claimed to have brought the fire under control within hours. But Friday they made clear that the effort had been enormous. Only by partly submerging the vessel were they able to douse the flames on the hull’s rubber coating, which minimizes noise and makes the submarine more difficult for enemies to detect. The chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, Nikolai Makarov, flew to the snowy port with a team of military investigators, and the story topped the Friday news on Russian television.

President Dmitry Medvedev ordered investigators to uncover the cause of the fire and told military officials to ensure that the vessel could return to service. Vice Premier Dmitri Rogozin told the Interfax news agency that the fire had not affected the vessel’s seaworthiness, although other officials said the extent of the damage was not yet clear.

Russia has been shaken by a grim series of submarine disasters in the past. In 2000, an onboard explosion sank the Kursk submarine in the Barents Sea, killing all 118 sailors and officers aboard. In that case, information was slow to emerge, and the authorities initially refused offers of rescue help from foreign navies while insisting that a collision with a foreign submarine had caused the crash. The slow government response provoked public fury and stained the country’s then-new president, Vladimir Putin.

This time, new information emerged at a rapid clip. The fire seemed to have originated on wooden scaffolding that surrounded the vessel while it was in dry dock, possibly in the course of welding work, and spread to an area of 1,600 square feet.
Iranian Press Release - Iran drill showcasing newest submarines 
 

 
 Iran says that the drills are defensive in nature and intended to convey a message of peace and friendship to the countries in the region.

Ghadir class submarines actively participate in Iran's naval drills in the Strait of Hormuz
The spokesman for Iranian Navy's Velayat 90 war games in the Strait of Hormuz says three of Iran's newest domestically-manufactured Ghadir-class submarines are actively present in the naval drills.

Speaking on the eighth day of the military exercises on Saturday, Rear Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi pointed out that all systems and equipment of the three submarines have been designed and manufactured by Iranian experts.

The 120-ton Ghadir submarine which was first unveiled in 2007 has excellent shallow depth performance and can conduct prolonged coastal missions. The Iranian fleet currently has 11 Ghadir submarines in service.

Mousavi said, Iran has the know-how of designing and building different classes of submarines today, expressing hope that in the near future the Iranian Navy will manufacture submarines with higher tonnage.

The Iranian commander also made reference to the Navy's strategic focus on night operations, saying the naval forces make optimum use of their electronic and wiretapping equipment to prepare themselves to overcome the restrictions of operations within darkness.

The power phase of Velayat 90 naval maneuver commenced early on Saturday.

Iran's Navy launched the massive 10-day naval exercises on December 24. The military maneuvers cover an area from the east of the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden.

South Korea Exports Their U-Boats

December 31, 2011: After eight years of negotiations, and constant money shortages, Indonesia has finally signed up to buy three South Korean Chang Bogo class submarines. These are an improved version of the German Type 209, but built in South Korea under license. The Chang Bogos are 1,200 ton boats that are 55.9 meters (174 feet) long, have a top speed while submerged of 39 kilometers an hour, and a top surface speed of 20 kilometers an hour. Range is 20,900 kilometers at a surface speed of 7.4 kilometers an hour. Endurance is 50 days and the highly automated boat has a crew of only 31. Armament is 14 torpedoes fired from eight 533mm (21 inch) tubes. 
  For most of the decade, Indonesia has been trying to expand its submarine force and replace two thirty year old German subs. But there was no money. New subs cost over half a billion dollars each, although Russia was offering better prices on new Kilos. But Indonesia had a bad experience with Russian subs back in the 1960s. The two German type U209 boats they bought in the 1980s had proved sturdy and effective. But these are now old boats. So Indonesia made a deal with South Korea, which also operates German subs, to refurbish their two boats. The first one took two years, but in addition to replacing worn parts and checking for any hidden damage, lots of new navigation and weapons systems were installed. The two German boats will thus be good for at least another ten years. The second of the two Type 209s completed their refurbishment this year. By then, the navy finally obtained the money for new subs. 
 
South Korea was eager to get the business, as South Korean shipyards are building more warships, including subs. Doing the Indonesian refurbs at a favorable price made South Korea a leading contender to supply Indonesia with new boats.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

December 31st - On This Date


1912 Nautilus Submarine HMS Nautilus launched
1934 Shark Submarine HMS Shark completed
1940 Sibyl Submarine HMS Sibyl laid down
1940 Sea Dog Submarine HMS Sea Dog laid down
1942 Truculent Submarine HMS Truculent completed
1942 Ultor Submarine HMS Ultor completed
1942 Trump Submarine HMS Trump laid down
1959 Sealion Submarine HMS Sealion launched
1942 HMS P311 HMS P311, only unnamed T-class boat, was due to have been named Tutenkhamen. Fitted to carry 2 human torpedoes (Chariots). Lost while engaged in Operation Principle, a chariot attack on Italian cruisers at La Maddalena.

Left Scotland in November 1942 with sister-boats Thunderbolt and Trooper after addition of human torpedo deck-mounted watertight containers direct for Malta. From there, sailed with two Chariots for Operation Principle. Last signal on 31st December. Probably sunk by Italian mines in the approaches to Maddalena. Lost with all hands
1942 HMS Unrivalled HMS Unrivalled torpedoes and sinks the Italian merchant Maddalena south-east of Mehedia, Tunisia.
1944 HMS Shakespeare HMS Shakespeare torpedoes and sinks the Japanese merchant cargo ship Unryu Maru east of Port Blair, Andaman Islands.
1944 HMS Trenchant HMS Trenchant sinks two Japanese sailing vessels with gunfire in the Malacca Strait.
1974 HMCS Rainbow HMCS Rainbow paid off Esquimalt BC. Last Canadian Pacific Fleet submarine until 2003

Friday, 30 December 2011

Iran scuba divers clear marine mines
 
 

The country has repeatedly made clear that its military might is merely based on the nation's defense doctrine of deterrence and poses no threat to other countries.
 
The seventh day of Iran's naval drills involved the detection and neutralizing of mines by navy scuba divers.
 
An Iranian naval commander says the country's scuba divers have successfully detected and defused naval mines on the seventh day of the Velayat 90 drills.

“The scuba divers of [Iran's naval] forces annihilated the shore facilities and killed the divers of the mock enemy,” Alireza Majd, head of Iran's Navy diving unit, said on Friday.

He added the Iranian scuba divers, who are all domestically trained, are capable of performing various martial and back-up operations as deep as 200 meters below water.

Iran's Navy launched the massive naval exercises on December 24, which covers an area stretching from the east of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden.

Different classes of submarines, including Tareq and Qadir, the newest ground-to-sea missile systems and torpedoes have been employed in the maneuvers.

Over the past years, Iran has made important breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing important military equipment and systems.

Strait talking: Iran gets tough as US fleet looks on
Russian Report

In the stand-off over the crucial oil lane in the Persian Gulf, Iran’s navy drill is to culminate with the launch of long-range missiles. The US says its warships, which crossed the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, are heading to the Arabian Sea.

Iran’s long-range missile systems, including the Shabab-3, cover a distance of over 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) and thus could reach Israel and US bases in the Middle East. According to the Iranian news agency Fars, the missiles will be launched on Saturday, being the key exercise of the Iranian navy maneuvers in the international waters of the Persian Gulf.

“The firing of missiles is the final part of the navy drill,” Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi, deputy commander of the Iranian navy, told Fars. “The final phase of the drill is to prepare the navy for confronting the enemy in war situations.”

In the past week, Tehran threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman, if Washington imposes sanctions on Tehran’s oil exports. The US said this would not be tolerated. On Thursday, a group of the American Fifth Fleet’s warships crossed the strait heading from its military base in Bahrain to the Arabian Sea.

­The Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman, is a major oil shipping gateway used by the Gulf countries (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE), as well as Iraq and Iran, to enter the Indian Ocean. Over a third of the world’s oil exports go through the strategic strait, which is controlled by Iran and the United Arab Emirates.

The US war group, official data says, included the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay, along with several torpedo destroyers, assault landing ships, trawlers and patrol boats. This was but a “routine transit” for the group, which is to provide air support to the allied forces in Afghanistan, said Lt. Rebecca Rebarich, the spokesperson for the US Fifth Fleet.
The American warships did not appear to meet any obstacles while crossing the Strait of Hormuz, although Iran maintains the US is no position to prevent it from blocking the strait when Iran deems it necessary.

“Right now, we don't need to shut it as we have the Sea of Oman under control and we can control the transit,” said Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, who is leading the 10 days of war games in the strait, the Tehran Times newspaper quotes him as saying.

Sayyari, who previously said that blocking Hormuz would be “easier than drinking a glass of water,” promised Iran would “use threat against threat” if the US persists with a confrontation.

Washington is concerned Iran is pursuing aims to build nuclear weapons. The stand-off between the two countries has skyrocketed after the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, published a new report on Iran’s nuke activities in November. Though the report was criticized for failing to provide firm evidence of Tehran’s military ambitions, the US and Israel urged the international community to impose harsh economic sanctions on Iran and doubled talk of a possible military strike.

'Persisting with the course would isolate Iran'
Stephen Schork, the editor of the energy trading newsletter The Schork Report, argues that Iran is bluffing as it “simply cannot afford not to sell its oil to the world market.”

“If Iran cannot get its oil to the world market, it cannot get petrodollars,” he told RT.
Moreover, Schork adds that Iran lacks refining capacity. “If Iran continues on this path, they will isolate themselves, they will not have access to foreign capital and they will not have access to enough refined product.”

He asks what Iran is trying to get as a reward for this possible move. “Apparently they want to build a nuclear weapon. The reward of a nuclear program does not justify the immense risk the leaders in Iran are playing out right now,” he concludes.

Foreign affairs analyst Richard J. Heydarian says that Iran has to play the Hormuz card as it cannot afford to lose 70 per cent of the nation’s revenues if Washington sanctions its oil sector.
“Iran knows that closing the Hormuz Strait would send the shockwaves across the global economy, which is very fragile right now,” Heydarian told RT. “But in my opinion, it is just a rhetorical gesture as Iran needs to draw red lines. It doesn’t mean that Iran is really willing to engage in that kind of military situation. Today’s a reminiscent of the so-called ‘Tanker wars’ of the 1980s [between Iraq and Iran].”

No radiation leak after nuclear submarine fire

No radiation leak has been detected after the fire on the nuclear submarine Yekaterinburg in Russia’s Murmansk Region. Fire brigades have finally managed to put out the fire. Nine people have been hospitalized with minor injuries

The Ministry of Civil Defense, Emergencies and Disaster Relief have called off the increased radiation control status in Murmansk, which was put into action after the fire started.
The sub's nuclear reactor has been shut down and its 16 nuclear-tipped missiles had all been unloaded before the repairs.

Russia’s Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring Agency has also confirmed that radiation levels in area in the Murmansk Region correspond to the regular readings.

Meanwhile, the Yekaterinburg’s commanding officer reported from aboard the submarine that radiation levels on the submarine are normal, says the Defense Ministry’s spokesman.

"Part of the crew is on board the vessel and is monitoring the parameters of temperature and carbon dioxide in all compartments of the submarine,” he said. The measurements are carried out every 30 minutes.

The fire on board a strategic nuclear submarine was brought under control by emergency workers at 21:40 GMT on Thursday, and completely put out by 09:30 GMT Friday.

The temperature in the first torpedo room of the nuclear submarine is 30 degrees Centigrade, a member of the committee working on the submarine told the media on Friday. The twin-bodied sub has a space between its light external and heavy internal hulls to collect and release ballast water. As the fire struck the outer shell, the temperature in the inner hull, including the first torpedo room, increased. Water was pumped on to the submarine to cool it down, a source in the Russia’s Investigation Committee told RIA Novosti.

Nuclear submarine K-84 Yekaterinburg was put into service on December 1985, racking up over 90,000 nautical miles between then and 1996. The vessel, which was named after the Russian city of Yekaterinburg in 1990, is a part of the Russia’s Northwestern Fleet within the country’s Military Naval Forces. The sub’s military complex includes a rocket complex D-9RM, capable of firing rockets at a range of 9,300 kilometers. For self-defense purposes, the vessel employs six torpedo tubes and 16 torpedoes of various calibers. Submarines of this type are a staple of the Russian strategic naval force. All of them are part of the Northwestern Fleet and based in Yangelnaya Bay in Russia’s Murmansk Region.

Full repair of the Yekaterinburg will take several months, said Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. But before that a commission will “make a decision on whether it is practical to restore the vessel and put it into service in the future,” as Interfax quotes an investigator as saying. This means the submarine could end up being disposed of.

According to Russia’s Investigation Committee spokesman, Vladimir Markin, investigators from the military had already begun inspecting the submarine to investigate the cause of the fire.

“Experienced criminal investigators of the Main Military Investigation Committee flew in from Moscow to provide practical assistance to the investigation team on the site,” Markin said. "Fifty witnesses have been questioned. Investigators are studying the documentation seized at the dockyard.”
No one was seriously injured during the fire. Altogether nine people have been hospitalized due to smoke inhalation and are likely to be discharged from hospital by tonight, reports RIA Novosti.
The fire began Thursday at an Arctic shipyard in Russia’s northern Murmansk region where the submarine Yekaterinburg was in dry dock. It started on a wooden scaffolding, then engulfed the submarine's rubber-coated outer hull.