Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hezbollah has a maritime force?

The Counterterrorism Blog cites to this report concerning a Hezbollah maritime force that has yet to be revealed in the current skirmish with Israel:
According to a senior officer in the Revolutionary Guards, who himself trained Hezbollah's navy units, the Party of God still has a number of surprises for the Israelis. The bombing of an Israeli navy vessel with two C802 missiles, with the assistance of Revolutionary Guards commanders present in Lebanon, was not a direct confrontation. Hezbollah, he said, has a submarine unit and a navy commando unit that operates Chinese-manufactured speed boats, capable of targeting the Israeli navy.
Into the realm of pure speculation: Submarine unit? Naval commandos? What if Hezbollah has a version of a North Korean midget submarine? One site has a drawing here with the following characteristics:
M100-D Midget SubmarineLength : 18.8m
Width : 2.7m
Displacement : 76t
Displacement (Under Water) : 88t
Draught : 2.5m
Main Engine : Electric Motor X 2 (Single Shaft : 68hp)
Max Speed : 6Kn
Max Speed (Under Water) : 7.4Km/h
Crew : 4 + 8
Special hatches were equipped in the bottom of M-100D Midget Submarine.
M-100D was able to take out the special attack team outside with no appear
on the surface of the sea.
(emphasis added)
See also SpecWarNet.

Of course, the Iranians have been building some mini submarines, as posted about by Bubblehead over at The Stupid Must Be Punished a few months ago here with photos from a Free Republic thread here. As noted in the various links Bubblehead has collected, the Iranian boat may be a copy of a North Korean design. One link Joel cites is Lawhawk who cites a newspaper article as reporting:
However, a closer examination of the story, indeed from the Tehran Times itself, shows that the AP story overstates the capabilities.

A closer reading of the Newsday article would not find the following statement made in the Tehran Times article:
Iran has started to manufacture midget submarines that can land troops and fire rockets, state media reported on Tuesday.

That's right - midget submarines that could land troops and fire rockets. Scary stuff. Not entirely. The subs would only work in littoral waters, not in open water, and their size would indicate that their primary use would be terrorist missions or covert operations.
Which is exactly where Hezbollah wants to be operating and what they want to be doing.

Keep an eye on this.

I suppose it would be easy enough to ship a small sub to Lebanon...

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