A new Iranian Ghadir-class stealth mini-submarine, home-built with Chinese technology, recently sank near the Strait of Hormuz, while preparing for a Revolutionary Guards naval exercise to practice sinking or disabling a mock-up US aircraft carrier, DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report exclusively.
The sub was launched just a year ago.
The Iranians drew a tight veil of secrecy over the accident, curtailing the search for the estimated 10 crewmen to avoid drawing the notice of US or other intelligence agencies in the region.
Chinese and Russian teams secretly enlisted to help search for the sunken mini-submarine, quickly abandoned it saying that none of the crew could have survived. It was up to Iran to decide, they said, whether to continue the search at the risk of exposing its plans for sinking US carriers in a war contingency. So long as the sub stayed on the bottom, its stealth technology would make it hard for Western intelligence to locate it.
The ill-fated submarine was to have shown its paces by striking a replica of the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier Iran had built at the Bandar Abbas naval base.
The replica was spotted by US satellites. Challenged for an explanation, the Iranians first tried claiming it was to be used in a film documenting the naval forces present in the Persian Gulf.
But then on April 27, the Navy Commander Rear Adm. Ali Fadavi gave the game a way by saying: “Iranian forces should target the carrier in the trainings. We should learn about the weaknesses and strengths of our enemy.”
On May 6, Adm. Fadavi made a more warlike statement that clearly defined “the enemy” when he said: “They [Americans] know nothing. We have been making and sinking replicas of US destroyers, frigates and warships for long years, and we have sunk the replica of their vessels in 50 seconds through a series of operational measures.”
The semi-official Fars agency quoted him as saying also: “Destroying the US navy remains one of the top operational goals of the Tehran forces. If war with the United States breaks out, the Iranians will attack American aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf, their size making them easy to target.”
Read more at Debka File.