Iran to target decoy US aircraft carrier in drills

Associated Press — April 27, 2014

Iran is building a replica of a Nimitz class air craft carrier in a naval shipyard near Banda Abbas. Click to enlarge

An Iranian newspaper is reporting that the country’s military plans to target a mock-up American aircraft carrier during upcoming war games.

The Sunday report by independent Haft-e Sobh daily quotes Adm. Ali Fadavi, navy chief of the powerful Revolutionary Guards as saying Iranian forces should “target the carrier in the trainings, after it is completed.”

Adm. Fadavi said: “We should learn about weaknesses and strengths of our enemy.”

This is the first reaction by Iranian officials to a March report that said Iran is building a simple replica of the USS Nimitz in a shipyard in the southern port of Bandar Abbas. Iranian officials did not comment then but state TV said it would be used in a movie.

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Iran’s Fake Aircraft Carrier Features Fake F/A-18 Hornet

David Cenciotti — The Aviationist April 2, 2014

More recent photo of the mock U.S. carrier featuring fake F/A-18 Hornets. Click to enlarge

Iran is not only working on a mock American aircraft carrier. New images posted on Facebook show that the USS Nimitz class ship being assembled in an Iranian shipyard on the Persian Gulf most probably for propaganda purposes (do you remember the F-313 Qaher stealth jet?) or as a movie prop, now features also some embarked planes.

Noteworthy, along with some F-5 Tiger aircraft (serving with the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force but not existing in a carrier-variant) parked on the flight deck of the fake Iranian carrier there are also some fake F/A-18 Hornets.

One of the two in special color scheme sports the unique livery and markings of the legendary VFA-103 “Jolly Rogers”.

The Jolly Rogers are one of the most famous squadron in U.S. Navy. They currently fly the F/A-18F Super Hornet adorned with Ensign Jack Ernie’s skull-and-crossbones on all-black tails, their symbol and probably the most recognizable one in Naval Aviation (to such an extent you can find it in Disney’s “Planes” cartoon).

The reason for using CAG (Carrier Air Group) planes in special colors makes Iran’s mysterious aircraft carrier’s flight deck slightly more realistic but the question remains: why did Tehran spend so much money to build such a huge model?

As mentioned before, it might be a prop for an upcoming movie (about an Iranian airliner shot down by a U.S. cruiser in 1988) as reported by some media outlets; still, considering the effort in building the mock up it is also possible that the ship will serve for more military purposes: for instance testing new technologies and/or training warplanes to attack a U.S. flattop in the Persian Gulf exploiting its vulnerabilities.

In either cases, just a waste of money…

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