Home » Aviation » Iranian Navy Missile Boat Harasses Three U.S. Navy Ships, Marine Helo in Strait of Hormuz


Iranian Navy Missile Boat Harasses Three U.S. Navy Ships, Marine Helo in Strait of Hormuz

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy Houdong guided missile boat.

THE PENTAGON – Three U.S. Navy ships and a Marine helicopter were harassed during a night transit of the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday, U.S. 5th Fleet officials told USNI News on Wednesday.

An Iranian Navy Houdong-class guided-missile boat came within 800 yards of a formation of amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5), guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG-67) and dry cargo ship USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE-11) and harassed the formation beginning with shining a spotlight on Cole.

Marines assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3D Marine Regiment board two CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters on the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) as part of Rim of the Pacific 2016. US Navy photo.

“Shortly thereafter, the Iranian vessel trained a laser on a CH-53E helicopter that accompanied the formation,” U.S. 5th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Bill Urban told USNI News on Wednesday.
“The Iranian vessel then proceeded to turn its spotlight on Bataan, scanning the ship from bow to stern and stern to bow before heading outbound from the formation.”

The encounter was, “unsafe and unprofessional due to the Iranian vessel shining a laser on one of the formation’s helicopters. Illuminating helicopters with lasers at night is dangerous as it creates a navigational hazard that can impair vision and can be disorienting to pilots using night vision goggles.”

A Navy official confirmed to USNI News that the laser shined by the Iranian Navy vessel triggered the CH-53’s countermeasure system.

USS Bataan (LHD 5) departs Naval Station Norfolk on March 1, 2017. US Navy

CBS News first reported the encounter.

The incident follows an encounter in March in which Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy patrol boat stopped short in front of the surveillance ship USNS Invincible (T-AGM-24) in March.

In January, the guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG-72) fired three warning shots to ward off four armed IRGCN attack boats coming at the ship at high speed.

In 2016, IRGCN had several high profile run-ins with U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf.

The following is the complete U.S. 5th Fleet Statement.

Three U.S. Naval ships and a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter had an unsafe and unprofessional interaction with an Iranian Navy vessel while transiting the international waters of the Strait of Hormuz, June 13.

The amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5), guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG-67) and dry cargo ship USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE-11) were transiting the strait when the Iranian vessel paralleled the U.S. formation, shining a spotlight on Cole. Shortly thereafter, the Iranian vessel trained a laser on a CH-53E helicopter that accompanied the formation. The Iranian vessel then proceeded to turn its spotlight on Bataan, scanning the ship from bow to stern and stern to bow before heading outbound from the formation.

During the interaction, the Iranian vessel came within 800 yards of Bataan.

Naval Forces Central Command assesses this interaction as unsafe and unprofessional due to the Iranian vessel shining a laser on one of the formation’s helicopters. Illuminating helicopters with lasers at night is dangerous as it creates a navigational hazard that can impair vision and can be disorienting to pilots using night vision goggles.

  • Bob

    Perhaps it is time to sink these boats interfering with US operations. We sink 1 or 5 all at once, and it will be a few years until they play games again. Iran is not match for the US. Enough is enough, and let Iran know the next time, we need to defend ourselves.

    • taguit

      Absolutely . Trust me it would be like swatting a hornets nest trapped inside a phone booth . It would only happen ONCE…..

    • hollygreen9

      My exact sentiments! Get out of my head!!

  • Glenn Valis

    Huh? It is not the lights that were the problem, it was a laser from the boat that was dangerous. But the USA is NOT going to give up it’s technical advantage because people shine lights or lasers, and to suggest that is foolish. Those devices ADD safety because they allow the pilots to see when it is too dark to see otherwise. In fact, planes and helicopters can fly at any time because they have such vision aids.

  • SgtHop

    No, a laser is an amplified beam of light. There’s a difference.

    Similarly, shining a laser at an aircraft irrespective of whether or not they’re using NVGs is a federal offense in the United States.

    Also, have you tried landing a helicopter on a ship deck without being able to see? They were talking about a boat within 800m of a helicopter carrier. Not one out in the middle of nowhere.

  • Hlpmerho

    It is my understanding that shining a laser beam at a pilot, wearing night vision or not, is extremely dangerous, so not sure what your point is? I am extremely grateful that it did not cause a mishap with the helicopter or escalate. My son is currently deployed and on one of those ships. Not sure you would be making such ignorant comments if you had a loved one currently deployed with this group.

  • Andrew Charneski

    Such “beams of light” can also shoot down missiles and blind (permanently!) humans. Perhaps ours ships should carry sufficient “beams of light” to shine back… destroying the enemy* ships.

    * Yes, they are enemies, if they deliberately harass our troops.

    • xanadon’t

      Fighting light with light is just fine with me. Sounds like a plan, let’s do it.

      • taguit

        Flmao

  • Ernie Penas

    the navy should have reacted more aggressively. maybe a ‘warning’ shot to the spotlight….

  • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

    Harassment is part of their culture.

  • Jyoti Prakash Mitra

    A ‘promise’ must be taken from Iran. Repeated unprofessional actions of Iran shows, they are trying to ‘cut short’ international waters. These are provocative & bandit kind in nature. Iran disobeying international ‘free rules’. Iran is not only adamant but also they are not careful about the trade goals in the region. Iran can’t be shown ‘sympathy’. #CIA #UnitedNations

  • Eric Arllen

    Folks, don’t feed the maroon. You’ll only encourage it.

  • 800 yards a 50 cal can take out the spot light(s) and a 5″ would take out the light and Iranian gunboat. Bataan could plead night blindness and just run over the boat. How about a Cobra gunship and a Hellfire, ops there goes an Iranian.

    • taguit

      Lmao

  • omegatalon

    Give them a warning.. before sending them to Allah as there has to be a US attack submarine in the area.

    • John B. Morgen

      No warning shots!

  • John B. Morgen

    I have said this before, and I will repeat myself–again. The Iranians’ actions are aggressive, if not war like. Therefore, Iran must be consider at war with the United States, and military action is require to ensure the safety of all Allied ships coming and going from the Persian Gulf. It is time to do the same to the Iranians, and do it now! Not later!

  • Centaurus

    they understand bombs, don’t they?

  • taguit

    Please tell us that your 3 yr old child accidentally had brief access to the computer and typed that reply. Cause surely you can’t be that stupid.

  • taguit

    Huh ?

  • Mammalou

    You are a disrespectful POS

  • Mammalou

    Oh so you know me?

  • Marjus Plaku

    why are we treating this with such polite curiosity.

    that description was chilling. and should not be allowed. it was basically a dry attack run.

    before a real war is underway, we have demonstrated to the iranians, they get one use to try a surprise attack. after that we blow up everything that floats.

    but in that one attack they can take out an amphibious assault detachment, not a bad trade off for them.

    this is dangerous. we have to escalate to force with their provocative encounters.

  • TransformerSWO

    Hence why we call it the Arabian Gulf, when we’re speaking with countries we get along with. These are international waters.

  • L-roy Keller

    Study and catalog each crafts unique acoustic and thermal signature. Some day out of the blue a boat with those characteristics is suddenly vaporized. PFM, Pure F ing Magic.

  • SFC Steven M Barry USA RET

    How dare Iranian patrol boats patrol Iranian territorial waters! — called the Straights of Hormuz. Yes, I know all the knitted brow arguments about “innocent passage.” Except, there is nothing innocent about passage of warships by a country that is constantly threatening war./ S//

    • Kim Chul Soo

      At it’s narrowest, the Strait of Hormuz is 29 miles wide. I think your boys are stretching it a few miles.

  • Matt Conley

    Yes Andrew… Let’s discuss the treatment of the Aboriginal People while were at it.

    • hollygreen9

      Aussie, you are a bloody wanker!

  • stealthmode

    Shame they didnt have a few signal mirrors. Could’ve had some fun.

  • Gen. Buck Turgidson

    More penalties from shining a laser at commercial flights in The U S then these rags,,