Wired Danger Room – In the next few months, the Navy will double its minesweeper craft stationed in Bahrain, near Iran, from four to eight. Those ships will be crucial if Iran takes the drastic step of mining the Strait of Hormuz, one of the global energy supply’s most crucial waterways. Four more MH-53 “Sea Stallion” helicopters, another minesweeping tool, are also getting ready for Bahrain, to give the U.S. Fifth Fleet early warning for any strait mining.
The US Navy five close-action patrol boats in the Gulf right now. Once the Coast Guard returns three that the Navy loaned out, the Navy will have five other patrol craft in the United States. All those boats are getting retrofitted. With Gatling guns. And missiles.
The guns aboard the two aircraft carriers currently near Iran are the seapower equivalent of high-powered, long-range rifles. “But maybe what you need is like a sawed-off shotgun,” capable of doing massive damage from a closer distance, said Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the Navy’s senior officer.
* Also, there will be new, advanced torpedoes that can compensate for the “turpidity [and] particulate” drags of the Gulf waters. And the drone subs — or, as Greenert put it, “some underwater unmanned neutralization autonomous units” to help hunt mines.
* Every Navy ship that sails through the strait will come equipped with new, modular “infrared and electro-optical” visibility systems that clarify the foggy Gulf even at night. Extra spare parts and contractor crews will sustain the surge.