Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on Tuesday launched a large-scale military exercise in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz which included a life-size model of a fake US aircraft carrier compete with mock-up aircraft on deck.
The IRGC Public Relations said the final stage of the war game, codenamed “Payambar-e Azam 14 (The Great Prophet=14)”, started on Tuesday morning in the southern province of Hormozgan, western parts of the Strait of Hormuz, and the Persian Gulf, the IGRC announced on local media.
The joint exercise, including forces from the IRGC Navy and the IRGC Aerospace Force, involves ground, aerial, naval and space operations. The drills includes joint operations by missile units, vessels and drones from the IRGC Navy and missile, drone and radar units from the IRGC Aerospace Force, the announcement said.
The servicemen attending the war game exercise offensive operations using missiles, drones and vessels, offensive mine-laying operations and tactics to cut off the naval connections of the hypothetical enemy, missile combat operations using helicopters, and launch of coast-to-sea missiles.
Satellite images taken by Iran’s homegrown ‘Noor’ satellite that was launched into space in April have been used to evaluate the situation in the war game zone, the announcement said.
The presence of the fake aircraft carrier has not acknowledged by the IRGC in its official handout to the local media. However, satellite imagery showed the fake aircraft carrier being ferried by boats close to the area of exercise.
A photo from "Maxar Technologies", the American satellite imaging company that was captured on Sunday, revealed an Iranian boat speeding towards the aircraft carrier model.
The Iranian model is similar to the US Nimitz aircraft carrier, which entered the waters of the Middle East late last week.
The identical Iranian mock-up version has 16 combat aircraft models on its surface, according to satellite imagery. It is also similar to a model that was used in February 2015 during a military exercise called "The Greatest Messenger 9". During that maneuver, Iran raided the aircraft carrier model with fast boats launching machine guns and missiles. Surface-to-sea missiles subsequently targeted and destroyed the carrier model.