Iran has been caught faking the destruction of a mock-up U.S. aircraft carrier, new satellite images reveal.
The new images show that the mock-up of the USS Nimitz nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that Iran claimed to destroy back in February was actually towed back to port.
“New satellite imagery shows that Iran’s mock-up aircraft carrier was not destroyed during naval exercises but was towed back to Bandar Abbas,” the report said. “The 16 mock aircraft previously visible on handhelds and satellite imagery were nowhere to be found.” The report and satellite imagery showed the mock-up had sustained extensive damage.
Back in March of 2014, CNN first reported that Iran was constructing a mock-up of the USS Nimitz at the Bandar Abbas port. Unnamed U.S. military officials at the time dismissed the mock-up, saying it amounted to a Hollywood prop.
At first Iran claimed that the mock-up was being built for a movie.Iranian state-run media outlets then claimed in February of this year that the aircraft carrier had been destroyed.
“A mock aircraft carrier was destroyed by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps missiles during the IRGC Navy's massive Payambar-e Azam 9 (The Great Prophet 9) wargames in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz,” Fars News Agency reported at the time.
“The model was built in real size and came under attack and was destroyed by missiles and rockets fired from tens of IRGC speedboats. Also a number of the IRGC cruise and two ballistic missiles were fired at the mock US aircraft carrier,” it added.
Video footage of the mock attack from Iranian missiles was aired extensively on Iranian state television. The footage did not show the aircraft carrier sinking, although many Western news outlets reported that it had been sunk.
Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren joked to reporters that: "We are wholly unconcerned about the Iranians mockup of an American ship. My guess is you could sink the mock-up in 50 seconds."
U.S. naval vessels, particularly aircraft carriers, boast significant air and missile defenses to protect the huge capital investments.