“Foreign Submarine” Sneaks Up on Iranian Military Exercise

By Faye Higbee

What Iran described as a “foreign submarine” sneaked into an area where the Iranian Navy was conducting a military exercise near the Strait of Hormuz. The “foreign submarine” was likely the USS Georgia, a nuclear sub that was sent the region in mid-December as tensions heightened. The USS Georgia is an Ohio Class nuclear sub that is heavily armed. It was filmed from an Iranian helicopter. (Zero Hedge)

Helicopter footage of the exercise released by Iran’s navy showed what resembled an Ohio-class guided-missile submarine, the USS Georgia, which the U.S. Navy last month said had been sent to the Persian Gulf — a rare announcement aimed at underscoring American military might in the region…

Iran’s navy did not identify the submarine, but warned the boat to steer clear of the area, where missiles were being launched from land units and ships in the gulf and the northern part of the Indian Ocean. When asked for comment on the reported submarine sighting, Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, responded: “We don’t talk about submarine operations.”

Associated Press

The Iranian exercise, dubbed the “Eghtedar 99’ drill,” was to be a two day exercise beginning Wednesday. It was set for between the Makran Coast and the northern Indian Ocean. (The Iran Project)

Naval News reported on the “foreign submarine”:

The circumstances of the shallow pass are unclear. The submarine is shown at periscope depth. A single DDS (dry deck shelter) is seen on the port side of the casing behind the sail. This hangar can carry SEAL Delivery Vehicles (SDVs) used by the US Navy SEALs.

The US Navy’s four Ohio Class SSGNs are by far the most heavily armed conventional strike platforms in the world. They can carry a total of 154 Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles (TLAM Block-IV) in their missile silos. When added to the torpedo room, this gives a total of 176 full-size weapons. Although the maximum load is reduced when the DDS is fitted.

Iran has been exercising its first indigenous patrol submarine, the Fateh, in the area. This conducted a torpedo test, and was itself spotted by some analysts using OSINT (Open Source intelligence).

It is possible that the American submarine gained intelligence of the exercises or other events.

…The Persian Gulf is very shallow in many places and generally seen as less suitable for large submarines. That does not mean that the USS Georgia cannot operate effectively in that environment however, but it may make incidents like this more likely.

Naval News

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Featured photo: screenshot via Iranian news

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