07 June 2007
If the Iranians had to attack American warships in the Gulf, they seem likely to go about it by swarming attacks using 20 or 30 small motor boats. The article references the damaging of the USS Samuel Roberts in 1987, which is also mentioned in this analysis from 1999, although not much detail is added. The damage to the Samuel Roberts reflected the neglect of such unglamorous work as mine clearance by the US Navy at a time when operations were largely directed toward the submarine threat posed by the Soviet navy. The incident resulted in Operation Praying Mantis, of which there are some photos and a chronology here. Interestingly to me, the USS Samuel Roberts turned up in an operation mounted in 2002 against Ecuadorian shipping travelling in Ecuadorian waters. The objective seems to have been to interdict arms shipments to Colombian guerrillas, and the matter is discussed in this article in Spanish.