Quarterbacking an Iranian Fast Boat Attack subject logo: MILGAM
2006-05-15
Posted by: badanov

So, the Iranians have ten C-14 fast attack missle boats, possibly more. What do they do with them?

We know for a fact that such a craft stands no real chance against any modern naval vessels and we suspect the first hostile sortee these boats make will likely be their last.

So, what are they for?

We suspect that these boats will likely sortee in groups of three using their radar to search for commercial shipping and possibily military vessels to engage.

We know that modern electronic systems can pin point such activitiy closely, and we suspect that is not the point. Once the Iranian radar goes hot to find their target, we think these attack groups will be followed by several much smaller craft operated by Pasdaran naval personnel, packed with explosives and an eternal williness to die for Allah.

Suicide boats.

Can these craft get out of port without being noticed? It is possible they can by simply not switching on their radar and it is possible that the individual skippers will know the cost of doing so. Navigating to a preselected point, going hot only after arriving and just enough to pin point their target, switching on the camera, then advancing in a line in the dark until they find something to shoot at.

Here we have to digress.

A possibility arises that were this scenario to happen, these actions could well be diversionary to allow focus to be switched away from one target so that another target can be engaged by suicide boats.

The Iranians know they only have to hit something to be successful. They may not win a naval engagement outright, but they can wresk a lot of havoc.

If you are an Iranian fast attack boat skipper, you only have to watch passive radar returns to know if you are spotted. You can spread out advancing silently, watching for active surface naval radar, indicating locations of naval vessels, a target for other boats to approach, maybe from an entirely different direction. Behind every group is a larger group of much smaller boats with a large explosives payload with fanatics at the helm.

The obvious counter would be AEW aircraft monitoring Persian Gulf waters, hot all the time and invulnerable to anything but a massive air attack, these boats are spotted almost by the time they leave port, possibly along with their suicide tail. Could the tail be spotted and how do you engage those vessels with a navy designed mostly to deal with Soviet surface groups of the late 20th Century?

Such naval action could be countered by naval aviation, an AEW aircraft direct attack aircraft loaded out with Maverick missiles. Antiship missiles such as Harpoon could also be launched by naval aviation from a good deal farther away than the 10 mile range of the Maverick. The Harpoon was designed for slower and larger naval vessels; we wonder how effective they could be again fast attack craft displacing less than 100 tons.

If you have something to add, Fire Away!

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