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WASHINGTON – Iran has threatened to attack U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf with its speedboats should Israel, the U.S. or both decide to launch a military attack on its nuclear facilities. Now, those speedboats will be equipped with new standoff anti-ship cruise missiles, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Iran claims to have some 30,000 such speedboats which it said it will use in a “swarm” tactic to attack U.S. warships and possibly other commercial shipping that must traverse the narrow Strait of Hormuz.
The speedboats already are assessed to be equipped with torpedo tubes that are capable of launching Iran’s own version of the Russian Skuval, capable of some 250 knots. U.S. warships are not assessed to be able to destroy such torpedoes, unless the warship can destroy the speedboat which probably would launch the torpedo at a considerable distance.
The same will apply to its anti-ship cruise missile. The speedboats will not need to closely approach the warships to attack them but instead can stand off and fire their torpedoes and now new anti-ship cruise missiles. They can do this well beyond the area in which a U.S. warship would consider such vessels threatening as part of the rules of engagement in open waters.
Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, has stated that Iran has allocated “thousands” of speed boats for military purposes, many being missile-launching vessels.
“All throughout the world, Iran is the only country which has speed vessels with the ability of firing rockets and missiles at high speeds,” Fadavi said. “We now have speedboats which can launch missiles as they traverse at a speed over 60 kilometers” or some 40 miles an hour.
Iran apparently has developed a number of anti-ship missiles. One is called the Zafar, or Triumph, and the Nour, meaning Light.
The Zafar is a short-range, anti-ship, radar guided missile which can hit and destroy small and medium-sized targets with what is said to be “high precision.” Not only will it be installed on ships and on coastal installations, but also on IRGC aircraft and vehicles. The Zafar is said to be jam-resistant and can fly at very low altitudes.
The Nour is said to be a long-range cruise missile that already is operational. It has a range of 170 kilometers, or 105 miles. It is said to be an Iranian variant of the Chinese C-802 which Iran used to buy. Under U.S. pressure such exports were suspended, but then Iran reverse-engineered its own, the Nour.
There is also a third – the Qader, or Mighty, which recently was viewed during military parades during the Week of Sacred Defense in September. The Qader is a short-range anti-ship missile which has a reported range of some 200 kilometers, or almost 125 miles.
In addition to these missiles, Iran is known to have produced other land-to-sea anti-ship missiles such as the Khalij-e-Fars and Tondar.
These missiles are part of an accelerated effort to improve Iran’s military capability – including to strike with unmanned aerial vehicles, a fifth-generation fighter, ballistic missiles and a massive air defense system. Development of Iran’s military capability comes in light of escalating threats from Israel and the United States to strike the Islamic republic’s nuclear sites.
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