IRGCN speedboats close to US vessels despite warnings, US Navy says

by Michael Fabey

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy (IRGCN) appear to have restarted harassing US vessels in the Gulf after a year-long pause.


        The IRGCN’s fast transport ship 
        Shahed Nezari
         cuts across the bow of a US Coast Guard Cutter 
        Wrangell
         on 2 April.
       (US 5th Fleet)

The IRGCN’s fast transport ship Shahed Nezari cuts across the bow of a US Coast Guard Cutter Wrangell on 2 April. (US 5th Fleet)

The US Navy’s 5th Fleet reported that three IRGCN fast inshore attack craft (FIACs) “failed to exercise due regard for the safety of other vessels” at around 2000 h local time on 26 April when “they came into close proximity to US naval vessels in international waters of the north Arabian [Persian] Gulf”.

The FIACs “rapidly approached” the patrol ship USS Firebolt and US Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Baranoff “to an unnecessarily close range with unknown intent”, the 5th Fleet added, saying they were 62.2 m away at the closest point.

“The US crews issued multiple warnings via bridge-to-bridge radio and loud-hailer devices, but the IRGCN vessels continued their close-range manoeuvres. The crew of Firebolt then fired warning shots and the IRGCN vessels moved away to a safe distance from the US vessels.”

Throughout the interaction, US forces “proactively communicated with the IRGCN vessels and executed preplanned responses to reduce the risk of miscalculation, avoid a collision, and to de-escalate the situation,” the 5th Fleet said.

The 5th Fleet reported a similar incident took place on 2 April, when an IRGCN vessel it identified as Harth 55 and three FIACs approached the USCGC Wrangell and USCGC Monomoy in the south of the Gulf.

“The Harth 55 repeatedly crossed the bows of the US vessels at an unnecessarily close range, including crossings both Wrangell and Monomoy

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/irgcn-speedboats-close-to-us-vessels-despite-warnings-us-navy-says

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy (IRGCN) appear to have restarted harassing US vessels in...

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