Iran’s Revolutionary Guard launched large-scale naval and air defense drills in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday, including swarming a mockup of a U.S. aircraft carrier with over a dozen speedboats.
The drill, named “Great Prophet 9,” was held near the Strait of Hormuz, through which about a fifth of the world’s oil passes, according to the Associated Press.
State TV showed footage of missiles fired from the coast and the fast boats striking the ersatz American carrier, which appeared to be a replica seen in a shipyard in the southern port of Bandar Abbas last year. The drills also included Guard forces shooting down a drone and planting undersea mines.
Footage aired Wednesday did not show that the assault had managed to sink the mock-up, but it was heavily damaged.
Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, the spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain, said the Americans were monitoring the drills, which had no effect on maritime traffic. He downplayed the simulated attack on the carrier, saying the U.S. military was “not concerned about this exercise.”
“We’re quite confident of our naval forces’ ability to defend themselves,” he said. “It seems they’ve attempted to destroy the equivalent of a Hollywood movie set.”
The USS Carl Vinson and the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle are currently deployed in the gulf.