Middle East attacks against international shipping - Iran at work

Yokel

LE
The Iranians have been involved in multiple attacks against international shipping, so a new thread goes beyond discussing a single attack.

Spate of Attacks on Ships In Middle East Points to Iran-Backed Group - USNI news

The latest Red Sea tanker attack happened to a cargo vessel in the Southern Red Sea on Dec. 25. The vessel reportedly hit a sea mine, by local press reports. The vessel’s name was not reported in open sources. Circumstantially the mine was likely sown by the Yemen-based Houthi movement, which is supported and supplied by Iran.

Earlier that month, Singaporean-flagged tanker BW Rhine, was struck by an explosive boat at the Saudi port of Jeddah on Dec. 14. The attackers reportedly used a speedboat loaded with explosives. This type of attack, generally involving remote-controlled drone boats, is an emerging threat in the region. The culprits are believed to be the Houthi movement, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal that cites European officials. The attackers used technology that has been linked back to Iran.

On Nov. 25, another tanker, Agrari, was attacked at Shuqaiq in Saudi Arabia. The Houthis are also suspects in this incident. The attackers appear to have used a limpet mine. The Houthi movement is capable of developing its own mines, but is also known to use the Iranian model of a limpet mine that is similar to the one used on Pola in the Dec. 31 incident.

While Iran may not have had a direct hand in the Houthi movement’s attacks, much of the weapons and technology involved is believed to originate in Iran. Iranian intelligence ship Saviz is permanently anchored in the Southern Red Sea. This acts as a forward base, increasing the Iranian regime’s footprint in the region.

For its part, Iranian tankers now appear to be escorted by the Russian navy when delivering oil to the Assad regime in Syria. These tankers now take the Suez route with the Russian ships, based in Tartus, meeting them in the Mediterranean. Russia is now establishing a naval base in Sudan, increasing its presence south of the Suez Canal.

The international naval presence in the region could reduce some of these threats, but it is difficult to predict the next incident.
 

Yokel

LE
Here is something else that did not make mainstream news here in the UK.

Iraqi explosive experts work to defuse tanker mine

BAGHDAD - The Iraqi explosives experts were working to defuse a large mine discovered on an oil tanker in the Gulf Persian and evacuate his crew, authorities said Friday.

The statement came a day after two private security companies said sailors feared they had found a limpet mine on the MT Pola , a Liberian-flagged tanker in the waters off the Iraqi port of Basra . A limpet mine is a type of naval mine that attaches to the side of a ship, usually by a special forces diver. It later explodes and can seriously damage a ship.

The Iraqi statement said the mine had been attached to an oil tanker hired from the Iraqi oil marketing company SOMO which was supplying another vessel. The Iraqi naval forces were making "a great effort to accomplish the mission" safely, said the Iraqi security media cell, affiliated with the country's security forces.

It was the first official Iraqi confirmation that a mine had been discovered on an Iraqi tanker transferring fuel in the Persian Gulf to another vessel. He did not identify any of the vessels or provide further details.
 

Whining Civvy

War Hero
I didn't know that ovaries produced Houthi limpet mines. Live and learn.
 

Yokel

LE
I was tempted to try an find a thread about Lewis Page's frequent teddy throwing in the media and his ideas, but this Iranian vessel does appear to be something of a lash up, but that flight deck is large - and Iran does have many helicopters with anti ship weapons.

Iranian Navy commissions converted tanker

Photographs of the ship show that it has been fitted with a large flight deck raised up on shipping containers, although it lacks a hangar. Its crane can launch small boats, at least four of which can be stored next to the flight deck.

It has been fitted with 20 mm and twin 23 mm anti-aircraft guns in six raised emplacements, and a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun on each of its bridge wings. It was shown with what appeared to be a land-based anti-ship missile launcher under camouflage netting on its flight deck.

It has two surface-search radars and what appears to be an antenna for electronic support measures. It also has two large ISO containers mounted on platforms on the deck that might represent a modular payload that could include containerised missile launchers.

fg_3866871-jdw-9981.jpg
 
I was tempted to try an find a thread about Lewis Page's frequent teddy throwing in the media and his ideas, but this Iranian vessel does appear to be something of a lash up, but that flight deck is large - and Iran does have many helicopters with anti ship weapons.

Iranian Navy commissions converted tanker

Photographs of the ship show that it has been fitted with a large flight deck raised up on shipping containers, although it lacks a hangar. Its crane can launch small boats, at least four of which can be stored next to the flight deck.

It has been fitted with 20 mm and twin 23 mm anti-aircraft guns in six raised emplacements, and a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun on each of its bridge wings. It was shown with what appeared to be a land-based anti-ship missile launcher under camouflage netting on its flight deck.

It has two surface-search radars and what appears to be an antenna for electronic support measures. It also has two large ISO containers mounted on platforms on the deck that might represent a modular payload that could include containerised missile launchers.

fg_3866871-jdw-9981.jpg
1610716899381.png
I'm on my way.....
 

Gabion Groyne

Old-Salt
I was tempted to try an find a thread about Lewis Page's frequent teddy throwing in the media and his ideas, but this Iranian vessel does appear to be something of a lash up, but that flight deck is large - and Iran does have many helicopters with anti ship weapons.

Iranian Navy commissions converted tanker

Photographs of the ship show that it has been fitted with a large flight deck raised up on shipping containers, although it lacks a hangar. Its crane can launch small boats, at least four of which can be stored next to the flight deck.

It has been fitted with 20 mm and twin 23 mm anti-aircraft guns in six raised emplacements, and a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun on each of its bridge wings. It was shown with what appeared to be a land-based anti-ship missile launcher under camouflage netting on its flight deck.

It has two surface-search radars and what appears to be an antenna for electronic support measures. It also has two large ISO containers mounted on platforms on the deck that might represent a modular payload that could include containerised missile launchers.

fg_3866871-jdw-9981.jpg
HMS Argus walt.
 

Whining Civvy

War Hero
I understand that it rapidly converts into a single use submarine, too.

Kudos to the Iranians, though - think outside the box and use what you've got.
 
I was tempted to try an find a thread about Lewis Page's frequent teddy throwing in the media and his ideas, but this Iranian vessel does appear to be something of a lash up, but that flight deck is large - and Iran does have many helicopters with anti ship weapons.

Iranian Navy commissions converted tanker

Photographs of the ship show that it has been fitted with a large flight deck raised up on shipping containers, although it lacks a hangar. Its crane can launch small boats, at least four of which can be stored next to the flight deck.

It has been fitted with 20 mm and twin 23 mm anti-aircraft guns in six raised emplacements, and a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun on each of its bridge wings. It was shown with what appeared to be a land-based anti-ship missile launcher under camouflage netting on its flight deck.

It has two surface-search radars and what appears to be an antenna for electronic support measures. It also has two large ISO containers mounted on platforms on the deck that might represent a modular payload that could include containerised missile launchers.

fg_3866871-jdw-9981.jpg
That will make a nice artificial reef.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
I was tempted to try an find a thread about Lewis Page's frequent teddy throwing in the media and his ideas, but this Iranian vessel does appear to be something of a lash up, but that flight deck is large - and Iran does have many helicopters with anti ship weapons.

Iranian Navy commissions converted tanker

Photographs of the ship show that it has been fitted with a large flight deck raised up on shipping containers, although it lacks a hangar. Its crane can launch small boats, at least four of which can be stored next to the flight deck.

It has been fitted with 20 mm and twin 23 mm anti-aircraft guns in six raised emplacements, and a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun on each of its bridge wings. It was shown with what appeared to be a land-based anti-ship missile launcher under camouflage netting on its flight deck.

It has two surface-search radars and what appears to be an antenna for electronic support measures. It also has two large ISO containers mounted on platforms on the deck that might represent a modular payload that could include containerised missile launchers.

fg_3866871-jdw-9981.jpg

nothing novel or new


before that, Iran uses offshore oil platforms. See Op Preying Mantis
 

Yokel

LE
Israeli Cargo Ship Struck in Oman Gulf After US Air Strike

First indications point to sea mines or missiles. The ship was hit during a cruise out of Oman Bay. There were no casualties, but the ship that had made its way to Singapore from the city of Damam in Saudi Arabia was damaged and had to return to Saudi Arabia.

I wonder if third party/proxy attacks against international shipping was one of the grey zone threats people have been discussing lately?
 
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Yokel

LE
This article from the Times of Israel is worth a read:

“It doesn’t just focus on one kind of attack,” Cordesman stressed. “It practices low- level attacks… It escalates to land-based anti-ship missiles. It conducts a mixture of attacks on shipping from platforms like drones, they use or at least encourage groups like the Houthis to use land-based missile attacks in sequence, or simultaneously with naval attacks. So this is not some kind of simplistic model. Effectively you’re talking about a country that knows how to play three-dimensional chess.”

----

Iran has invested heavily in pursuing hegemony over the sea in its neighborhood. It has short, medium and long-range coastal anti-ship missiles, including the domestically produced Khalij Fars missile. Tehran has bought and produced submarines armed with long-range torpedoes. On the surface, the regular navy has a relatively robust fleet armed with anti-ship missiles. Its IRGC counterpart has invested in suicide speedboats and fast-attack craft to overwhelm enemy warships with swarm tactics. It can also target ships with UAVs, special forces raids and proxy forces throughout the region.

These elements are on display in Iran’s naval exercises. “Some involve amphibious elements, commando raids, strikes on islands, or platforms like drones,” said Cordesman. “Some involve the use of swarming tactics, others involve the use of remote-controlled surface vessels armed with explosives.”


Politicians and media types would do well to understand that the North Atlantic is not the only place we need robust ASW and other capabilities.
 

Yokel

LE
The maritime grey zone?

Israel secretly attacked Iranian oil tankers and weapon carriers

Israel has carried out a series of clandestine strikes on Iranian oil tankers and ships carrying weapons, according to revelations from Washington that cast fresh light on a series of naval incidents in recent years.

At least a dozen vessels, mostly carrying Iranian oil to Syria and mainly hit by mines, have been damaged in Israeli attacks since late 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing US and other officials. The attacks, three in 2019, six last year and three more this year, took place in the Red Sea and Mediterranean, and possibly elsewhere.

They were part of Israel’s military campaign against the Revolutionary Guard, the Iranian paramilitary organisation that oversees oil exports and supplies numerous militias throughout the Middle East.
 

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