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Subject: Iranian missile boats and Ashm threat
Herc the Merc    12/26/2005 3:59:52 PM
At least 40 Hudong class chinese boats with 80, C-802 missiles, Bushehr class.
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Heorot    RE:Iranian missile boats and Ashm threat - TAC   12/29/2005 4:11:27 PM
“Fitz/Galrahn - SM-1 Standard seems a very odd missile to attack a surface vessel with, when you have Harpoon at your disposal? (Although I know some SAMs can be used against surface targets, e.g Sea Dart) Also, we're not getting the Iraqi's and Iranians mixed up here, are we? Previous Comment” I did a google for this and couldn't find any official sources. What I did find were several discussion boards and all of them that mention the missile type refer to SM-1's.
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fitz    RE:Iranian missile boats and Ashm threat   12/29/2005 5:13:51 PM
"Just curious, but are you sure about that? I am pretty sure of my source, although I am going off memory not facts in front of me. Just curious, not trying to be accusational." Absolutely sure. "Electronic Greyhounds" page 226 by Capt Michael C Potter USNR or "Navies in the Nuclear Age" page 161 by Norman Friedman Standard is a much better weapon than Harpoon for quick surface-to-surface engagements within visual range, especially against small targets where the limitations of its warhead in this role are less important. Standard is quicker to shoot and of course several times faster in flight than Harpoon making it harder to intercept. SM-2 has even better surface-to-surface capability, which is why DDG-51 Flight IIA's don't even ship Harpoon anymore. In littoral environments Standard works better.
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Jack Tarr    RE:Iranian missile boats and Ashm threat   12/30/2005 4:28:45 AM
Thanks for clearing that up Fitz/Heorot. As I said, I knew several SAM types could be used in a Surface to Surface role, but I always assumed that would be in a secondary, backup role, if you will. Especially when carrying a dedicated Anti-Ship missile like Harpoon. I hadn't realised that the SM-1 Standard was actually better in some situations! Thanks guys, I feel suitably enlightened.
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Heorot    RE:Iranian missile boats and Ashm threat   12/30/2005 1:14:05 PM
Can anyone answer this. The Sea Skua is probably the missile with highest hit rate of any. I don’t recall reading that any have missed in a combat situation. Given that, why hasn’t it sold better. In particular, why doesn’t the US Navy use them (apart from the NIH syndrome)?
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fitz    RE:Iranian missile boats and Ashm threat   12/30/2005 1:21:13 PM
Because to use it, one also has to use the Lynx helicopter - the only platform equipped to fire it. The USN uses Maverick and Penguin instead.
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Heorot    RE:Iranian missile boats and Ashm threat   12/30/2005 2:38:50 PM
"Because to use it, one also has to use the Lynx helicopter - the only platform equipped to fire it. " Not so. There is a ship launched version.
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Galrahn    RE:Iranian missile boats and Ashm threat - TAC   12/30/2005 2:54:44 PM
I talked to my source, the SM-1 theory originated from an article in Sea Power mag. put out by the Navy league. In the article it says: "The Iranian missile boat Joshan came out to challenge the U.S. ships and fired a Harpoon missile at the cruiser USS Wainwright. The cruiser maneuvered to limit its profile against the cruise missile and fired chaff. The tactic worked as the missile locked onto the foil cloud 100 feet off the starboard beam. The Wainwright immediately fired six Standard missiles at the Joshan followed by a Harpoon. By the time the Harpoon arrived at its intended target, there was nothing left to hit. The Wainwright's surface warriors had no time to celebrate. With an Iranian F-4 fighter quickly closing, the Wainwright's skipper ordered Standard missiles to the rail and away. Two birds streaked towards the jet, apparently causing damage as the plane rapidly fell before returning to Bandar Abbas." Sounds like a great story, as would be expected by the Navy League, but unfortunately the details are wrong. Turns out the USS Wainwright didn't fire Standards at the Joshan, it fired 2 harpoons after the USS Simpson did. The Wainwrights inner screen escort, USS Simpson fired 2 Harpoons back almost immediately after the Joshan attacked, both of which hit the Joshan. The 2 Harpoons from the USS Wainwright and the one Harpoon from the USS Bagley, which was the outer screen for the USS Wainwright, missed due to a very low burning signiture in the water after the Simpson hits. The USS Wainwright closed towards the Joshan and finished it with its guns. As a result of that action, the USS Simpson and her crew were awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Award and the Combat Action Ribbon, along with numerous personal awards received by individual crew members. That bit of information (the citations) seems to confirm the stories reported by multiple sites, not the SM-1 story reported by Sea Power sometimes used in discussions by Navy Leaguers who buy into the Sea Power parade of constant Navy happy thoughts. The USS Wainwright shot down Iranian F-4 shortly after the Joshan was sunk. It used 2 SM-1s for that engagement. The Sea Power magazine writer told the whole story, but messed up the details. Later, when researching the incident, Thomas G. Mahnken of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary studies confirmed which story was true, it is in his research regarding the cruise missile challange facing the US in a paper released March of 2005 available on the CSB website. Thomas G. Mahnken's story confirms my source, which also goes with the stories told on Wikipedia,, and goes with reports from other sources like CSB Cruise Missile Challange Research March 2005 Australia Air Power (unoffical news and opinion site) Global Security Operation Article Wikipedia's version (not always a good source, but does appear accurate) The Sea Power Mag article
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Galrahn    fitz see previous thread   12/30/2005 2:55:57 PM
Although you are right on about the Standard, it just wasn't used in that specific operation.
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fitz    RE:Iranian missile boats and Ashm threat - TAC   12/30/2005 4:18:49 PM
First of all, the Sea Power magazine article is only 2 years old. My sources are at least a decade older than that and both are highly credible. I doubt the Sea Power article’s accuracy because it mentions only Wainright as firing all 6 weapons, but that’s no reason for an ad hominem attack either; “The Wainwright immediately fired six Standard missiles at the Joshan followed by a Harpoon. By the time the Harpoon arrived at its intended target, there was nothing left to hit.” The other sources do not confirm your version of events, however. Wikipedia does not mention what types of missiles the Wainright and Simpson fired: “The Wainwright and Simpson hit back with four missiles. The Bagley responded by firing one Harpoon. The 3 ships then closed on the burning remains and sunk the Joshan with 5" and 76mm gunfire.” Nor does Global Security support the idea that Harpoon’s, not SM-1’s were used. Again, there is no mention of the missile types fired and they only mention the Simpson as firing any weapons at all! “When JOSHAN was warned to stand clear, she responded by firing a Harpoon missile at the group. SIMPSON was the first ship to return fire, striking JOSHAN with the first of four successful missiles she fired that day. After JOSHAN was disabled by missile fire, she was sunk by gunfire.” The Cruise Missile Reasearch paper lists the same Global Security link you cited as his source, but provides details not given by Global Security. He inserts “Harpoons” where GS just says “missiles”. Again, only one ship is mentioned as having fired. The Australia Air Power link lists Joshan as being sunk by 2 AIR LAUNCHED Harpoon’s but no source for this data is given. Needless to say, that one ain't gonna work either. Nice pictures though.
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Galrahn    Fitz your right   12/30/2005 4:52:31 PM
Ok I was able to pull this log, it says you are right about the SM-1, but it doesn't match any other story. You are also right I took a cheap shot at the Navy League and their fan club. 0000 19 April 88 Simpson's C.O. departs via motorwhaleboat for meeting with CO's from USS Wainwright [guided missile cruiser] and Bagley [frigate]. 0400 Simpson Commanding Officer returns. 0600 Simpson goes to General Quarters. 0900 Arrive at oil platform - warn it to evacuate. 0915 Simpson fires w/76 mm, Wainwright w/5 inch and Bagley w/5". 0945 Platform is an inferno. Simpson expends 35 rounds, Wainwright 30 rounds and Bagley 8 - due to jammed gun. 1000 Group moves in search of guided missile patrol boat reported to have attacked oil rig. 1230 Patrol boat is found. 1240 PTB warned - "Suggest you abandon ship - we are about to sink you." 1240 + 1 sec. Iranians fire harpoon missile. Simpson fires SM1 missile. Simpson launches CHAFF and maneuvers to throw off missile. Missile misses but comes so close you could hear it whoosh by. Simpson missile hits superstructure of PTB. 1241 Simpson and Wainwright fire again. Simpson again hits superstructure. Wainwright misses. 1243 Simpson again fires hits above main deck but ship is now burning. 1245 Group deploys due to inbound Iranian aircraft. 1255 Group returns to scene - Simpson launches final SM1 - hits amidships. PTB begins to sink. 1300 Wainwright, Simpson, Bagley open up w/guns to finish off job. 1600 Secure from General Quarters.
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