Seizure and release of a US sea drone by the IRGC in the Persian Gulf + Video
ISWNews Analysis Group: On August 31, a US Navy sea drone was controlled and towed by the Iran’s IRGC Navy in the Persian Gulf and eventually released after a while.
According to Iranian officials, the navigational communication of this unmanned vessel with the control center was cut off and the IRGC seized it with the aim of securing the shipping route in the Persian Gulf and finally with the presence of the US frigate USS Thunderbolt in the area and being justified by security issues and safe navigation, the US drone was released.
Although it is said that the “navigational system failure” is the main reason for its seizure by the IRGC Navy, however, it seems that the navigational communications of this vessel were cut off by the IRGC electronic warfare and then, in a clever move, this valuable asset was seized.
It is important to mention that the United States Fifth Fleet has deployed a new task force known as Task Force 59 since last year with the aim of integrate unmanned systems and artificial intelligence in the West Asia region. Rapid integration of advanced unmanned systems with maritime and coastal operations in areas under the control of the US 5th Fleet, including the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, the Sea of Oman, the Strait of Bab al-Mandab, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal and parts of the Indian Ocean, are among the main tasks of this group.
The main purpose of the entry of unmanned vessels or so-called “sea drone” of the United States into the Persian Gulf is to increase the combat power and naval deterrence with low-risk for the American Navy in the southern waters of Iran. Sea drones on surface or below surface can provide many valuable capabilities. These capabilities are especially important in the shallow waters of the Persian Gulf to deal with Iran’s mine warfare systems, small submarines, and fast boats.
As a result, the presence of these systems in the Persian Gulf has a series of risks and also a series of benefits for Iran! Capturing the advanced and required examples of American unmanned vessels will obviously have a significant impact on the completion of the unfinished projects of Iranian unmanned vessels, and Iran’s upper hand in the waters of the Persian Gulf will be maintained.