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Iran Builds Mock-up of Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier 298

Posted by timothy
from the why-not-an-enterprise-class-a-starship? dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "The NYT reports that US intelligence analysts studying satellite photos of Iranian military installations say that Iran is building a mock-up of an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with the same distinctive shape and style of the Navy's Nimitz-class carriers, as well as the Nimitz's number 68 neatly painted in white near the bow. Mock aircraft can be seen on the flight deck. The mock-up, which American officials described as more like a barge than a warship, has no nuclear propulsion system and is only about two-thirds the length of a typical 1,100-foot-long Navy carrier. Intelligence officials do not believe that Iran is capable of building an actual aircraft carrier. "Based on our observations, this is not a functioning aircraft carrier; it's a large barge built to look like an aircraft carrier," says Cmdr. Jason Salata. "We're not sure what Iran hopes to gain by building this. If it is a big propaganda piece, to what end?" Navy intelligence analysts surmise that the vessel, which Fifth Fleet wags have nicknamed the Target Barge, is something that Iran could tow to sea, anchor and blow up — while filming the whole thing to make a propaganda point, if, say, the talks with the Western powers over Iran's nuclear program go south. "It is not surprising that Iranian military forces might use a variety of tactics — including military deception tactics — to strategically communicate and possibly demonstrate their resolve in the region," said an American official who has closely followed the construction of the mock-up. The story has set off chatter about how weird and dumb Iran is for building this giant toy boat but according to Marcy Wheeler if you compare Iran's barge with America's troubled F-35 program you end up with an even bigger propaganda prop. "I'm not all that sure what distinguishes the F-35 except the cost: Surely Iran hasn't spent the equivalent of a trillion dollars — which is what we'll spend on the F-35 when it's all said and done — to build its fake boat," writes Wheeler. "So which country is crazier: Iran, for building a fake boat, or the US for funding a never-ending jet program?""
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Iran Builds Mock-up of Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier

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  • I had one of those. Don't remember if it was Airfix, Tamiya or Revell...

  • By why cloud a good jab at the US with facts?

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Persuading some other countries to spend money on it doesn't make it un-American.

      It's America's idea, they're footing 90-odd percent of the bill and it's fast becoming a trillion-dollar white elephant (Drones! Who could have predicted those?).

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @07:39AM (#46556679) Homepage

    But the F35 is more or less combat ready in its basic form, it's mainly extended feature sets like the USMC's VTOL variant that are holding it back from being in use now.

    Moral of the story, though... the people who mocked the F22 as the boondoggle to the F35 should have been fired from the DoD and run out of Congress. The F22 ended up being cheaper and still better (IIRC). There's no excuse for being naive enough to believe "oh yeah, we'll be much cheaper" when building something like the F35.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      The time for manned fighters is coming to an end. They should concentrate on the X-47B.

      • by Shinobi (19308)

        Why manned fighters still have a place: Greater situational awareness, no radio link latency, not as sensitive to jamming.

        Doesn't matter how many G's your drone can pull if you have 500ms latency, and your sensors are jammed. And if the radio frequencies are jammed, the drone is a sitting duck, following simple pre-defined actions, while a pilot can figure out a solution/act independently.

        • by amiga3D (567632)

          Read up on it. We're not talking about drones here but autonomous fighters. You assign it a mission and then it concludes the mission according to programmed parameters.

        • by Jmc23 (2353706)
          So you really think it would be hard to program evasive maneuvers into a drone? No human would be able to handle reacting at that speed nor would their physiology be able to handle the movements. And when all else fails it can just be programmed to ram into the other plane.
          • ^ This...

            All too often people can't see the forest for the trees...

            With enough cheap drones (cheap compared to the cost of manned fighters), you can simply ram the enemy fighters. Production lines can produce more drones, but it takes years to replace a trained pilot.

            The war of the robots is coming, the first nation to field battle ready drones in huge numbers on land, sea, and air, will walk over everyone else.

            • Getting close enough to ram at jet speeds is easier said then done.

              • by Jmc23 (2353706)
                You're right. We should get started right away on some sort of automated guidance system that can home in on a fast moving target.

                Why with those capabilities we could even put it on our fighter jets to attack other fighter jets!!

        • by afxgrin (208686)

          Isn't the majority of air-to-air combat strategy now just to fire an active radar AIM-120 AMRAAM from a bajillion miles away anyway?

    • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @08:01AM (#46556785)

      > But the F35 is more or less combat ready in its basic form

      As long as you don't try to land it in cloudy weather.

                http://www.alternet.org/fail-4... [alternet.org]

      Or on an aircraft carrier:

              http://theaviationist.com/2012... [theaviationist.com]

      Or landing on the $1500/each tires twice in a row:

            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/... [bloomberg.com]

      Oh, and if the landing gear fails and the pilot has to eject, they can't safely eject over water. (See the first article.)

      If we needed to build supersonic "launch-only" aircraft, we could have done so _much_ more cheaply.

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        So you apparently no nothing about proving a new aircraft.

        Please show me any comparable aircraft in use in the modern world that didn't have the same sort of issues.

        You won't find ANY military aircraft in ANY country on the planet that didn't have similar issues in its development, at least not since WWII.

        You'll be able to find many commercial aircraft that haven't 'crashed' during development, but blow outs on landing? hahaha Even in commercial airliners, a blow out is 'normal'. Twice in a row? Unusual

        • > You won't find ANY military aircraft in ANY country on the planet that didn't have similar issues in its development, at least not since WWII.

          Not this late in their development.

          The F35 has directly competing design goals, ranging from their supersonic stealth capabilities to their short take-off/landing requirements, which is precisely _why_ the tires cost $1500 and wear out so quickly. The belief that throwing more billions of design to resolve what are fundamentally incompatible needs for power, spe

        • by hey! (33014) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @12:49PM (#46557971) Homepage Journal

          This isn't just a case of normal teething problems. This is a case of a program to build an affordable, stealthy multirole fighter ballooning into the most expensive defense program ever, yet still failing to meet most of its performance goals. The F35 is heavier, slower, less agile and less stealthy than originally planned, has shorter range, and is much, much more expensive. The vanilla F35A will cost as much as an F22 per unit, and cost 2x as much per hour to operate as some of the aircraft it is replacing. And that's assuming the F35 becomes operational when promised. Already it is late by longer than the entire development cycle, from contract to deployment, of any of the teen series fighters.

          By any reasonable standard, this was a scandalously managed program. If it is successful, it is only by revising all of the program's original goals. That may still leave the F35 as the best multi-role fighter in the world, but that should have been done years ago at a fraction of the cost.

      • by Ksevio (865461)
        The "land in cloudy weather" part looks like it just hasn't been certified to do so, which makes sense for a new aircraft.
    • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @08:20AM (#46556837)

      But the F35 is more or less combat ready in its basic form, it's mainly extended feature sets like the USMC's VTOL variant that are holding it back from being in use now.

      Moral of the story, though... the people who mocked the F22 as the boondoggle to the F35 should have been fired from the DoD and run out of Congress. The F22 ended up being cheaper and still better (IIRC). There's no excuse for being naive enough to believe "oh yeah, we'll be much cheaper" when building something like the F35.

      The fundamental problem is we seem to have fallen in love with the idea that their is one airplane that can do it all, for all the services. As a result, the plane's performance degrades as it suffers bloat that makes Windows look positively svelte. The best read on this is Coram's book, "Boyd" that details John Boyd's battle agains the Air Force bureaucracy.

      The most telling line in TFA is that the F-35 is built in 45 states, thus ensuring it's survival since no Congressman or Senator wants to be accused of killing jobs in their home district or state. Wether or not the plane is what is needed is secondary to that; and woe be tide to any military leader that dares suggest killing it.

      • by spoot (104183)

        I'm old enough to remember we've been down this road before with the boondoggle of the multi-one-plane-to-rule-them-all before. I'm not dissing the f-35, it's just that we've been through this before with similar results:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... [wikipedia.org]

        • I'm old enough to remember we've been down this road before with the boondoggle of the multi-one-plane-to-rule-them-all before. I'm not dissing the f-35, it's just that we've been through this before with similar results:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... [wikipedia.org]

          Heh. That's the plane Boyd said, when asked what could be done with it, said "Rip the wings off, paint it yellow, and make it the fastest crew delivery bus."

    • by BitZtream (692029) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @08:28AM (#46556857)

      Its already in use by multiple air forces. The B version I think is the only one not in active duty at this point.

      The F-22 and the F-35 fill different roles.

      The F-22 is an air superiority fighter, the F-35 is an attack fighter. You send F-22s along with the F-35s on missions, the F-22s protect the F-35 from advanced air targets while they fly in heavily loaded and completely unable to perform any sort of meaningful air combat without dumping their fuel and weapons stores. The F-35 is like an F-16 configured for ground attack, the F-22 is like an F-16 configured for air superiority, though the F-35A in the proper configuration can maintain the same performance as the F-16 in an air superiority configuration, you're more or less unarmed at that point, which is also useless in combat.

      The F-22 and F-35 are complimentary aircraft, not competing. You and many in the government could have saved yourselves a fuckload of ignorance if you listened to the people who fight wars when they told you why to make both. It wasn't until the things were in the air and the reality of what happens when you load a fighter aircraft down with a few tons of bombs that people outside the military got the clue.

      Theres a reason you have multiple aircraft, just like theres a reason you have multiple types of foot soldier. Some are heavy armed and armored to take a pounding, some are fast as shit and light and are dead if you shoot them with a .22, and together they kick ass, alone, they can be annihilated by a well trained militia

      • But if the attack fighters can't fight because they're configured to destroy ground targets, then why not just use bombers instead?

      • by prisoner-of-enigma (535770) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @04:19PM (#46559225) Homepage

        The F-22 is an air superiority fighter, the F-35 is an attack fighter.

        First, if all they needed was a strike aircraft with overwhelming air-to-ground capability, they already had it with the A-10 Warthog (or Thunderbolt II for you purists). It can carry a cubic assload of bombs, has extended loiter capability, can take off and land on short, unimproved runways, is perhaps the best aerial gun platform in the history of aviation, and can take an immense amount of punishment, make it back to base, and be repaired for another strike before the pilot has time to grab a sandwich. Alas, it's not "sexy" enough so nobody wants to fly it. Fighter jocks look down on the "air-to-mud" boys, you know. But us grunts -- I'm a former Marine -- absolutely love knowing your call for CAS is being answered by a 'hog.

        Second, the F-35 is not just being pitched as an "attack fighter" as you claim. It's being positioned as the Swiss Army Knife of airframes, the complete multi-role, multi-service, multi-theater, all-season do-it-all flying wonder plane. It's stealthy...but not terribly stealthy compared to other airborne threats. It's fast...but not very fast compared to fighters it's likely to face. It can flow slowly for accurate bombing...but not as slowly or as accurately as what we already have. It has endurance...well, not so much. And it costs less than what it's replacing...except it doesn't. McNamara tried this same crap back in the 60's and we ended up with the F-111, a "fighter" that couldn't fight. It was too big, too heavy, too complex, too expensive to make, too expensive to maintain, too hard to fly...and *nobody* wanted it. Today the F-111's are largely rusting away somewhere while B-52's are still flying, delivering bombloads much more effectively, reliably, and cheaply.

        Honestly, what the US needs in the way of air power is this:

        - A small but elite force of the stealthiest, fastest, most-maneuverable, most survivable, most advanced aircraft this country can possibly produce (i.e. F-22, B-2). These are our "alpha strike" planes. They go in on the first day of a conflict and kick the shit out of SAM sites, ground- and air-based RADAR, Command and Control facilities, fuel and ammo dumps, runways, and staging areas. After a brief but furiously intense campaign, the enemy is left without any effective way to defend against even basic air strikes. Then the war is turned over to...

        - A medium-sized force of semi-stealthy and non-stealthy attack aircraft (fixed- and rotary-winged) which can now operate with near impunity due to degraded enemy defenses. A-10's, B-52's, F/A-18's, AH-64's...you get the idea. These are much more affordable than the "alpha strike" package to keep operational. They're also already bought and paid for, have large cadres of trained pilots, and can deliver much bigger attack loads than their stealthier brethren. This phase keeps up until the enemy is more or less fully subdued and organized resistance has almost been wiped out. Then things are turned over to...

        - A very large force of unmanned and/or autonomous drones equipped for air-to-air and air-to-ground operations. These can be cheaply maintained for an indefinite period with absolutely zero political cost should one get lost to enemy action. Further, they act like omnipresent snipers, orbiting beyond normal aural and visual range but ready to deliver a laser-guided Hellfire "bolt from the blue" in an instant. The effects of such constant threats on enemy morale cannot be understated. Meanwhile, our "boots on the ground" are largely back home or operating in secure areas, reducing the chance of domestic upheaval by an unhappy populace over some "neverending war."

        The biggest mistake this country is currently making is assuming we need just one type of aircraft for just one type of conflict. Modern wars have many different phases, most of which will involve a "low intensity conflict" in an area where large, high-value targets are not present. Having a fleet of super-advanced weapons which costs too much to make and too much to maintain is just stupid when there are better options on the table.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      But the F35 is more or less combat ready in its basic form.

      Translation: "Not really ready yet...."

    • by Saffaya (702234)

      Cheaper and better than ... what ?
      The F-22 was inferior in almost every important metric to its competitor, the YF-23.
      Except for being backed by the side with most corrupt^H^H^H^H lobbying power.

    • Moral of the story, though... the people who mocked the F22 as the boondoggle to the F35 should have been fired from the DoD and run out of Congress. The F22 ended up being cheaper and still better (IIRC). There's no excuse for being naive enough to believe "oh yeah, we'll be much cheaper" when building something like the F35.

      The F-22 IS a huge waste of money, it's only when you put it next to the fiasco of the F-35 program that it doesn't look so bad. The fact that one is a disaster doesn't make the other one a success. That's like arguing that Hitler was a good guy because he killed fewer people than Stalin.

      Both programs are relics of the Cold War era, which have persisted only because they fill the need of congressmen to deliver pork to their states, and because the former fighter pilots who run the US Air Force are unwillin

  • Isn't this the 2nd one they've built? The first one is an office building and only looks like a carrier from above. We never figured that one out either. I couldn't find a link because "Iran aircraft carrier building" only brings up this story now. lol Maybe it was china that did it? I can't remember.

  • I think Iran has computers and 3D artists, and blowing up a CGI USA aircraft carrier would be cheaper and indistinguishable from the real thing on tv screens.
    • Re:Propaganda? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BitZtream (692029) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @08:35AM (#46556885)

      Could be just a movie in general, doesn't have to be propaganda.

      Hollywood used to do stuff like this all the time, it wasn't because we were actually going to blow up a russian sub.

    • It's just not as effective to train your boarding parties with a CGI as it is with a physical mock up. I'm not saying they are actually going to try and board a Carrier, but when some numb-nuts cousin of somebody who can kill or disapear you on a whim says to do something stupid, you just do it.

  • It's very likely to be for training purposes.
    • Especially to train drone pilots.

    • Training? Training what? Attacking an aircraft carrier?

      You are aware that this could be done not only cheaper but also a lot more stealthy, right? Training something like a raid on a carrier is something you train away from prying eyes, simply because surprise is your key element. Because surprise is probably the only way you can possibly get close enough to one, when the enemy is expecting an attack he won't try to discourage that alleged fisher boat that seems to have gone astray, he'll simply sink it.

      Or

  • by auric_dude (610172) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @07:47AM (#46556725)
    • by amiga3D (567632)

      I guess this shows how seriously they consider the threat of US Carriers.

  • ...is a little out of date. https://www.google.com/maps/pl... [google.com]
  • Seriously? The best you could do is "fake boat"?

    Here's my theory, They've come up with some fancy new weapons system that they think can down a Nimitz-class, and they want something that actually looks like one for the demo.

  • by rjejr (921275) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @08:02AM (#46556787)
    This was debunked days ago, its a movie prop about the US shooting down an Iranian commercial fight in 1988. Don't the Slashdot editors have access to Google?
    • by careysub (976506)

      Here is the source for the "debunking": an Iranian news site - Mashreghnews.ir [mashreghnews.ir] asserting that this is a prop for a movie about the shoot-down of Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988 (hope you have Google translate activated).

      However Flight 655 was shot down by the guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes (CG-49), and the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier was not involved. The U.S was not about to deploy an aircraft carrier battle group to the narrow, mine-filled waters of the Straits of Hormuz, nor would that kind of firepowe

      • by dbIII (701233)

        nor would that kind of firepower have been any use for the tanker traffic policing mission

        It was a very stupid "show the flag" political exercise probably dreamed up by a White House intern - no minesweeper was sent so after the first mine contact the tanker under escort was sent in front! The first tanker set off several mines but was able to continue, tankers are huge so could take a few more mines than a relatively light naval vessel. To make things even more ridiculous the mines Iran had bought and de

      • Since when have movies been accurate? An air craft carrier is more iconic, so you can bet it'd be used for a movie.
    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      What is interesting is how much bullshit the military spokespeople said about it, and how it is still being used for US propaganda purposes and to justify military spending. Apparently much of the media will just take what the US military says at face value and not even bother to verify it with a quick google search.

  • by Archtech (159117) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @08:11AM (#46556809)

    "The mock-up, which American officials described as more like a barge than a warship, has no nuclear propulsion system..."

    Duh, how could it have nuclear propulsion when two-thirds of the world's diplomats and spooks (the USA's own plus its faithful servants, that is) spend most of their time ensuring that Iran never gets any nuclear technology, no matter how simple and peaceful?

    OTOH, a moment's thought reveals that it doesn't need nuclear propulsion, whose main advantage is the ability to sail around the world several times without refuelling. It's unlikely that Iran wishes to indulge in "force projection" in the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific, since it's actually a very peaceable nation. (Please check the history books before violently disagreeing).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bing Tsher E (943915)

      You're right. Iran projects extreme violence inward at it's own people. Or at anybody foolish enough to be within their borders.

      That sort of thing results in a very 'peaceful' nation.

    • Nuclear propulsion enables you to go fast and each knot of extra speed is considerable less wear and tear on landing aircraft. If Iran were really serious about protecting what legitimate interests they have, Helicopters and STOL aircraft based on more modest carriers would be a better fit.

  • Who's Crazier? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wjcofkc (964165) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @08:39AM (#46556899)
    Government leadership on both sides could use an extended stay in a psychiatric facility. I thought US/Iran relations were supposed to be warming? With active gestures from both sides? In regards to that, I can think of stupider moves Iran could have made but this is dumb and disappointing all the same. When things progressed so far that President Obama and President Rouhani spoke by phone - a major accomplishment on both sides - I hoped things would keep getting better from there. That they would open up their nuclear efforts and that we could then lift sanctions with a real friendship on the horizon. What happened to all that? It was recent and a major news story for sometime. I guess I was naive. If the nations of the world could only humble themselves before one another... In most cases I suppose religion is the big barrier there. The planet is (figuratively) shrinking at an exponential rate and if we don't learn to actually truly get along as a planet of independent nations, we will see a mass thinning of the population at some point, under unfavorable circumstances.
    • Relations have indeed improved. They have gone from the brink of war all the way to a simmering mutual hate and loathing. That's still an improvement.

  • America should immediately drop all other programs and start building Barges painted to look like aircraft carriers?

    Seriously folks we get it. You fscking HATE America so much that you'll come up with any idiotic comparison you can to make us look bad, even false comparisons that are a fine display of stupidity, inability to think logically, and a dandy non sequitur to boot.

    I wonder how a war between these barges and jet fighters would turn out?

    • by Jmc23 (2353706)
      oh that's rich.

      Isn't what's happening here the exact OPPOSITE of what you are claiming. This is US propaganda trying to make Iran look bad because you guys hate them so much.

      • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

        oh that's rich.

        Isn't what's happening here the exact OPPOSITE of what you are claiming. This is US propaganda trying to make Iran look bad because you guys hate them so much.

        Thank you so very much for exact proof of my point. If you read the summary and the blog referenced in it, you would read the words "So which country is crazier, Iran for building a fake boat, or the US for funding a never-ending jet program?"

        So tell me now, what is the US propaganda machine that is trying to make Iran look bad by calling the US crazy? You are living in a Fox News like bubble, where you only see what you want to see and you only hear what you want to hear. Your hatred of the US is tha

  • What, what, what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Sunday March 23, 2014 @09:03AM (#46556989) Homepage Journal

    What is the summary on about? These seem pretty easy:

    "So which country is crazier: Iran, for building a fake boat, or the US for funding a never-ending jet program?""

    Crazy? The never-ending transfer of wealth from the American people to the military-industrial complex is exactly what the F35 is designed to do. I mean, hello, duplicate engine contracts? Stop trying to pretend this is primarily a weapons platform - it makes you look naive.

    Cmdr. Jason Salata. "We're not sure what Iran hopes to gain by building this. If it is a big propaganda piece, to what end?"

    Seriously? This is military intelligence?

    Let's play this out. You go and attack Iran with a bunch of battleships and you expect them to come out and counter-attack with their battleships and aircraft? Of course not - they don't have the resources and so they need to have an asymmetrical counter-attack plan. Here's one: get some small boats out to the aircraft carrier under dark of night and board it. Have your men know the layout of the ship like the back of their hands, and kill all the sailors aboard, except for the ones you need to keep alive to extract any command codes that may be required to operate the free battleship. Start with your 'special forces' to disable the counter-attack resources and then overwhelm it with manpower. Make your enemy either destroy their own asset or lose it.

    Propaganda piece? Come on.

    • I wonder if those speedboats could disable a carrier more directly? Pack with explosives, kamikaze into target ship. They can go fast and are cheap enough to swarm. Thick as the armor is, a boatload of explosives hitting at seventy miles per hour must be able to do some damage. They can pack a lot more explosives than a conventional torpedo.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @09:04AM (#46556993) Journal
    When it comes to building mock-ups, there is no one to beat India.

    It seems to have built a complete mock-up of a democracy, complete with a mock-up judiciary, a mock up legislature and even a mock up of a functioning economy.

  • by Jmc23 (2353706) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @09:40AM (#46557099) Journal
    Satellite imagery has spotted the US recreating famous landmarks, all obviously fake and scaled down, in the middle of the desert.

    Who are these silly yanks trying to fool. To what nefarious propagandic purposes will they be used?

  • The summary is full of stuff, but I won't say what.

    The United States Navy has, as its primary air-delivered weapons test site - also used for training, a facility out in the Mojave Desert called the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station. On that test base (larger than Rhode Island) is a test location called "R-Range" (R is for radar). Out on R-Range is a sort of ship shaped hill called Sea Site that bristles with ship electronics. It is used for testing targeting systems and training -- and it is intended to

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @10:14AM (#46557237)

    Even if it is a military training aid*, it's not like this isn't completely standard practice. America's own 11th Armored Cavalry is an entire regiment of troops using equipment modified to look and act like enemy equipment (still Soviet, both because most of our enemies are still using Soviet or Soviet-derived equipment, and because it seems like Russia wants to start WW3 again). They're used for training - every other army unit cycles through, "fighting" against them in a really, really advanced version of laser tag, with the 11th acting as the "opposing force", mimicking as best they can the enemy's tactics and capabilities.

    Iran and US are currently enemies. We're not at war yet, and I hope it doesn't come to that, but expecting neither side to train for that war is preposterous.

    * Given that it's size is wrong, it seems ill-designed for military training. If they were training for an air or sea assault, they would need a properly-sized target, and if they were training to try to capture it, they'd need more detailed internals. It seems more likely to be prop for a propaganda film.

  • by Al Al Cool J (234559) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @10:17AM (#46557253)

    Their plan is to come in at night and steal the real Nimitz, leaving the duplicate in its place

  • It's pretty obviously for training. Even if Iran wanted to do some sort of fake film, it would be easier to do it digitally (and that is how they have done it -- poorly -- before.) It's much more likely that this is a training target, and not for shooting at. The painted marks are the key. This is for training on and testing optical devices. They want to train their people -- probably their speedboat fleet -- on how to recognize and pick out the carrier in a fleet.

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