Sunday, October 9, 2011

2 Navies In 1

Quiz time!

Quick - what's way more better than one navy?


2 Navies of course!

Not unlike the ancient aperitif in NSDAP time Deutschland when the Ss, essentially became a state within a state and Waffen Ss became an army within an army - Iran's Naval reorganization mirrors the larger rise of the Revolutionary Guard from the guardians of preacher command to an increasingly dominant role as the shadow government of Iran.

Commander Josh Himes - US Navy,  unleashes an in depth look at Iran's regular navy - and the Grand Ayatollah Kamikaze Flotilla headed up by the guard

Commander Himes's report includes multi money shots along these lines, plus maps, projections, military and policy counters to the Persian version of Area Deniability

The IRGCN retains its strong asymmetric approach and has invested heavily in enhancing its speed, mass, and lethality to strengthen its deterrent value in the Gulf. Armed with new, more lethal, high-speed small boats, and potentially complemented by expanding supporting capabilities such as extended range coastal radars, ‘smart’ anti-ship ballistic missiles, and even IR GCN-operated submarines, the IR GCN’s power has increased significantly since assuming responsibility for defending the Persian Gulf in 2007. Now, almost 25 years after its creation, the IRGCN has assumed full responsibility for the Persian Gulf, relegating the IRIN to a more conventional deterrent role in the region.

In 2007 Iranian naval forces underwent a reorganization in which the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN) and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN), which had previously shared duties and water space, were separated. The reorganization reflected a change in the regime’s perceived role for its naval forces, revealing Iran’s growing regional aspirations.

This reorganization reflects Iranian leaders’ focus on a strategic triangle that extends from the Bab al- Mandeb between Djibouti and Saudi Arabia, across the Arabian Sea to the Strait of Hormuz, and across the Indian Ocean to the Malacca Strait. This area encompasses strategic maritime commerce routes that Iran deems essential to securing the future of its economic sector.

Under the new structure, the IRIN will patrol the Caspian Sea, the Gulf of Oman, and the area from Bandar Abbas, near the Strait of Hormuz, to Pasa Bandar, near Pakistan. This shift involves establishing new bases in the area, and utilizing existing capitol ships as well as submarines. Currently the IRIN consists of approximately 200 ships and 18,000 personnel. While many of its surface ships hail from the Shah’s era, recent subsurface and cruise missile procurement, as well as a growing domestic production capacity have increased its capabilities.

Meanwhile, the IRGCN has been constituted as a coastal defense force largely focused on asymmetric and mobile combat capabilities in the Persian Gulf. Larger than the IRIN, the IRGCN consists of 20,000 personnel and anywhere from hundreds to several thousand ships and small crafts. Recent development has expanded the IRGCN’s capabilities, equipping it with fast attack boats, torpedoes, and anti-ship cruise missiles.

IRIN capabilities include the Russian Kilo class submarine (three units in hand, three expected as early as 2015) and the Ghadir/Yono class mini-sub (eleven units in hand, nine more expected over the next two to three years), which has been domestically produced at increasing rates over recent years. The Kilo, primarily designed for anti-sub or anti-ship warfare, is fairly easy to track, while the Ghadir-class subs are difficult to track, though they remain less formidable in terms of combat power. Perhaps more importantly, media reports indicate the possible development of a new mid-sized submarine that could present a hybrid threat if it proves to be suitably powerful and similarly difficult to track. Development of the IRIN’s surface ships continues at barely above replacement rate.

Pic - "Prompt and sustained operations at sea in support of Great Satan's nat'l interests."