“Today, Iran’s warships and destroyers are equipped with the missiles which can fire at targets beyond the horizon and its submarines are equipped with highly smart and powerful torpedoes which can target aggressors from beneath the surface,” Deputy Commander of the Iranian Navy for Coordination Rear Admiral Amir Rastegari said on Monday (see artcile: Iran equips all military vessels with advanced missiles http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13920925000914).
Such a move puts U.S. naval ships that currently operate in the Gulf of Hormuz and Persian Gulf at direct risk in the event that war breaks out between the two nations breaks out. This includes a forward deployed carrier strike groups attached to the Fifth Fleet.
The Fifth Fleet of the United States Navy is responsible for naval forces in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean.
The Fifth Fleet Garrison/HQ Naval Support Activity operates out of Bahrain.
The Pentagon refused specific comment on this matter, as did the Secretary of the Navy’s office.
The Iranian navy has already considerable power in terms of its advanced asymmetric warfare capabilities (see video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USXifZDKsqk.
The Iranian Navy has also war gamed scenarios involving the engagement and destruction of the Fifth fleet (see video: Iran navy power will destroy the Fifth Fleet http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGiTSDCrci0.
It should be understood that Iran constantly drills for defense in the Gulf of Hormuz already and in 2013 they held a massive drill involving ships, aircraft and troop movements (see video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VxvWoTUW60).
One retired naval officer I talked with by telephone on Monday (who declined to be named in this report) said that such a move is a “game changer” in terms of the military dynamics of the region, particularly where the U.S. Navy is concerned. He refused to elaborate but insisted that advanced long range missiles could target U.S. navy ships operating in the region. “This is a new offensive capability the Iranians didn’t have before – as such it definitely puts U.S. Navy ships at risk in the region.