Iran Begins Military Exercise “Great Prophet 5”

Iran began large scale military exercises today in the Gulf, including the Strait of Hormuz, according to Iranian television. Tehran routinely threatens to halt all traffic in the Gulf if attacked. Could they do it? Only temporarily, Joint Chiefs vice chair Marine Gen. James Cartwright told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week.

He pointed out that if they closed the straits, Iran would in essence be strangling itself as it’s so dependent on both exporting oil and importing most everything. Even if they tried, “We believe we could keep them open,” Cartwright said.

The official assessment of Iran’s military was provided by military intelligence chief Lt. Gen Ronald Burgess and can be found here. It runs through Iran’s weapons holdings; nothing too impressive there, apart for some progress on the ballistic missile front. Iran’s conventional weapons inventory is old and worn out.

Iran’s paramilitary forces, including the Revolutionary Guards Corps – Qods Force, would make for a formidable adversary, Burgess said, if defending its home turf. The Qods’ global activities are the more worrisome, including significant support to Lebanese Hezbollah and Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Another Pentagon assessment of Iranian military power surfaced this week, the unclassified version of a congressionally mandated report. It can be found below the jump. It provides a bit more detail on weapons holdings and manpower than the official DIA report (much of the Iranian force structure is unknown; in fact the report quotes defense spending from the well known 2010 Military Balance), but, as would be expected, its essentially the same report.

DoD – Unclassified Report on Military Power of Iran

— Greg

23 Comments on "Iran Begins Military Exercise “Great Prophet 5”"

  1. I wish my boat had a machine gun like that…

  2. The main goal of this year's excercise: Kill Kenney.

  3. I can hear the radio traffic now

    "dirga dirga 1, do you copy, over?"

  4. Iraq and Iran fought for nearly 8 years and accomplished nothing but mass cassualties on both sides. They gained no ground. We've see how the U.S. wiped the Iraqi military. Iran shouldn't be a problem should it come down to it.

  5. Plus, the innocent people in Iran hate their corrupt government.

  6. I wonder if they play the theme to "Miami Vice" while their out scadooing around…better yet…"Baywatch!"

  7. i wish our special boat teams flew pretty flags like that…

  8. They're onna use small, fast boats to perform fast devastating strikes against our larger ships. They can sneak below radar at night and fire antiship missiles. We need to be wary of this.

  9. What are they going to do with the boats pictures? Machine gun our ships to death? What are those small rocket launcher looking things on top of the boats? They look like small unguided missiles that would be very inaccurate on a small moving boat… anyone have any idea?

  10. i wonder when we are gonna fuck them up

  11. Those were anti aircraft/ ship guns mounted on a speed boat.

    I guess a weaponize Global Hawk with cruse missiles of different variant can outgun a Iran gunned/ missle boats or any land and sea conflict.

  12. What about the Russian Sunburn missiles the Iranians have supposedly been stockpiling? If these small boats are missile boats then Sev is correct. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS-N-22

  13. small boxes on top look like smoke generators

  14. Iran can make everyone’s life unpleasant and their own life unbearable. It remains to be seen if they ever dare to start any trouble. I do not think they would or even plan to. All they essentially want is to be left alone. Which includes arming and encouraging Hesbollah and whoever their main puppets in Iraq and Afghanistan are at the moment. And we can’t really do anything about it.

  15. Has anyone looked UNDER THE SURFACE? It is my understanding that Iran has gained from trade with China +/or Russia one or two-submarines that are of post-WWII quality. (Grant it, our anti-submarine tactics are among the best in the world, but I hope that we are looking at the possibility.)Remember what ex-pres. Bush & Chenney said? " we have to be right 100% of the time; the terrorists only one."

  16. Apparently the majority of the esteemed readership is not very well informed about a little U.S. simulation exercise called "Millenium Challenge 2001" that centered on asymmetric naval warfare in the Persian Gulf. The USMC General who commanded the "red" forces (the enemy) quit because the "blue" forces (our guys) had to "resurrect" their sank and damaged warships in order to "win." Our naval and nav. air forces encountered the Iranians in battle in 1986-1988 while Iran was also battling Iraq. Since that time, the Iranians have been studying and working on how to perfect their asymmetric warfare STRATEGY and TACTICS. Our presence in Iraq has given them a huge training facility in that regard.

  17. On or about July 12, 2006 an Iranian made anti-ship Kowsar SSM launched by Hizbollah land forces in the Beirut, Lebanon area severely damaged the Israeli Navy missile-guided corvette HANIT. That gives an indication in terms of Iranian asymmetric warfare tactics and capabilities. Most of the comments here sound like those of the British military "experts" who were opining that WW II Japanese aviators "could not aim straight." The sinking of HMS PRINCE OF WALES and HMS REPULSE outside Singapore in 1942 settled that argument. We do not need similar surprises if and when our forces will need to encounter the Iranians again.

  18. Mr Bush might be right about Iran but we should be caucius.

  19. I guess if it comes to last resort in the event they attack and we need to defend our people andcountry, we still have the hydrogen and nitrogen deterent.

  20. Iran 's Republican Guard (the morality police) are like volunteer firemen. If you keep giving them new toys to play with, like speedboats, they'll work for free.

  21. If they include boats in their future military actions, SEALs and SWCCs will meet them head on.

  22. Your web site misidentifies the religious classification for Shiites and equates it with the proverbial "brown matter" placing asteriscs over this Muslim religious classification. There are Sunnis and there are Shiites and you cannot have an intelligent discussion about national security issues in the Persian Gulf if the Shiite religious affiliation gets blocked out.

  23. Regardless of what any of us thinks on a personal level, the worst thing we can do is underestimate our opponents (the Iraqis) and their tactics. Better to go in with at least some caution and preserve our forces to ramp up operations than to send in a strike force against a majority we were not initlally aware of – unless of course we can back them up effectively.
    The Iraqi conflict/invasion was against a force that was, I think, not as capable then as the Iranians are now so to engage in the same tactics a second time without indepth intel would be folly. Don't kid yourself. If you don't think the Iranians were watching every move we made against Saddam Hussein you are sadly mistaken. That being said, I do think we need to prepare ourselves for that conflict, in whatever form it may take.

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