Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The high stakes standoff between Iran and the US over the Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for one-fifth of the world's oil, escalated this week as Iran's navy claimed to have recorded video of a US aircraft carrier entering the Port of Oman and the deputy chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Hossein Salami rejected US claims that it could prevent Iran from closing the strait. To drive the point home, Iran has started a 10-day naval exercise in the Persian Gulf to show off how it could use small speedboats and a barrage of missiles to combat America's naval armada while in a report for the Naval War College, US Navy Commander Daniel Dolan wrote that Iran has acquired “thousands of sea mines, wake homing torpedoes, hundreds of advanced cruise missiles (PDF) and possibly more than one thousand small Fast Attack Craft and Fast Inshore Attack Craft. The heart of the Iran's arsenal is its 200 small potential-suicide boats — fiberglass motorboats with a heavy machine gun, a multiple rocket-launcher, or a mine — and may also carry heavy explosives, rigged to ram and blow a hole in the hull of a larger ship. These boats will likely employ a strategy of “swarming”—coming out of nowhere to ambush merchant convoys and American warships in narrow shipping lanes. But the US Navy is not defenseless against kamikaze warfare. The US has put more machine guns and 25-millimeter gyro-stabilized guns on the decks of warships, modified the 5-inch gun to make it more capable of dealing with high-speed boats, and improved the sensor suit of the Aegis computer-integrated combat system aboard destroyers and cruisers. “We have been preparing for it for a number of years with changes in training and equipment,” says Vice Admiral (ret.) Kevin Cosgriff, former commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command."
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