I guess the Iranians are getting tired of their PhotoShop military technology triumphs getting exposed. I thought the mullahs didn't care about mockery in the West over these things, but maybe the information is leaking back into Iran:
Iran is building a nonworking mock-up of an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that United States officials say may be intended to be blown up for propaganda value.
Intelligence analysts studying satellite photos of Iranian military installations first noticed the vessel rising from the Gachin shipyard, near Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf, last summer. The ship has the same distinctive shape and style of the Navy’s Nimitz-class carriers, as well as the Nimitz’s number 68 neatly painted in white near the bow. Mock aircraft can be seen on the flight deck. ...
Navy and other American intelligence analysts surmise that the vessel, which Fifth Fleet wags have nicknamed the Target Barge, is something that Iran could tow to sea, anchor and blow up — while filming the whole thing to make a propaganda point, if, say, the talks with the Western powers over Iran’s nuclear program go south.
Check it out:
Assuming the Iranians want to blow it up for propaganda purposes makes sense. I mean, you don't really believe the Iranians are negotiating with us to be their best buddies, ever, do you?
But how would Iran sink it? Would the Iranians tow it out to the Persian Gulf during a conflict with America and then strike the hull with missiles (with enough internal explosives to make sure it doesn't escape the powerful blows of the Iranian military) to show the Iranian people during an American air campaign against Iran's nuclear facilities that Iran was delivering heavy blows against the Great Satan?
But that would be risky, wouldn't it? By that time, we'd be watching the Iranians closely. Couldn't we blow it up before it goes out to sea? Or seize it with Marine landing parties?
If Iran avoids that by towing it out to sea ahead of time to film the sinking to put the film in the vault to use during a conflict, couldn't we film it and publicize the fake sinking to discredit the Iranian mullahs ahead of time?
And aren't we undermining that purpose just by publicizing the existence of the faux carrier now?
Besides, why wouldn't a PhotoShop sinking be good enough for their own dimly aware support base? Why go to this effort?
Are we really thinking like Iranians to believe this is intended to be a target for propaganda purposes?
Might the Iranians put a nuclear device in the hull and have it do double duty for demonstrating Iran's new nuclear deterrent while sending a message of what Iran might target if we tangle with them?
Yes, that's fanciful. When I saw the headline, my first thought was it was for propaganda purposes. But I could just be thinking like those naval analysts and not like Iranians.
Heck, is it just supposed to be a floating attraction at a "Death to America" theme park? Who knows what China has in mind for their carrier building (which, as it turns out, doesn't seem designed to actually handle aircraft operations)?
Is it designed to help program anti-ship missiles to recognize a carrier for targeting purposes? Or train pilots or ship/sub crews to distinguish a carrier from an oil tanker?
What other angle are we missing? Is there another purpose than a propaganda film?
UPDATE: The Iranians say it is for a movie set. I forget where I heard or read that.