The U.S. Navy has confirmed that the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) was “harassed” by multiple Iranian vessels during transit of Strait of Hormuz earlier this month.
The publication War Zone confirmed Friday that the group of Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) small craft followed the U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group out of the Strait.
“During the transit, multiple Iranian vessels followed the U.S. ships through the strait,” U.S. Navy Commander Joshua Frey, a public affairs officer for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), told the War Zone in an Email. “Their activity was within normal behavior patterns for Iran and did not threaten the Abe [Abraham Lincoln] strike group.”
Early, some media were released commercial satellite imagery that showed Abraham Lincoln making the transit out of the Persian Gulf by way of the Strait of Hormuz on Dec. 4, 2019, in the escort of as 18 Iranian small boats around 20 miles northwest of Oman’s Musandam Peninsula and some 30 miles from Iran’s Qeshm Island.
“The bulk of the Iranian boats were in a neat formation to her rear, off the port side of the Ticonderoga class cruiser USS Leyte Gulf, which was also sailing behind the carrier,” according to the Wa Zone.
No other American ships or boats, or any allied or partner vessels, were accompanying these elements of the Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, according to Commander Frey.
Additionally, the U.S. Navy has released footage from recent exercise in the Arabian Gulf that showed tests of the MK-60 Griffin guided-missile system.
“The exercise demonstrated a proven capability for the ships to defend against small boat threats and ensure maritime security through key chokepoints in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points,” the Navy message states.
The new ship-based version of Griffin missile was designed to find enduring countermeasures to defeat enemy speedboats harassing shipping in international seas and straits.