In recent years, the U.S. Navy has found itself in the precarious position of having to warn away Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard fast attack boats using warning shots in the waters of the Strait of Hormuz. U.S. ships regularly have to traverse this narrow seaway on their way into and out of the Persian Gulf, making them the frequent target of harassment from the small, quick, and heavily armed boats.
It can be easy to forget that the size of the ship doesn’t necessarily matter when it comes to water-borne conflict. The amount of damage a vessel can do to its opponent, however does. It’s because of this that American ships must take great care to ensure that even small, unassuming threats like small motor boats aren’t able to close at high speeds, as an explosive laden small craft could potentially bring down even a mighty Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer.
Although the U.S. Navy has made headlines in recent months due to a rash of high-profile collisions between American warships and commercial vessels in the open seas, the American Navy has had no trouble spotting Iran’s small vessels as they aggressively approach, inciting not one, but two recent incidents in which U.S. Navy personnel have had to fire warning shots at the craft in order to dissuade their approach, begging the question, if the Navy needed to actually engage one of these small boats, what would that look like?
Well, wonder no more. In this footage captured aboard the class’s namesake amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6), sailors engage a drone speedboat with an Mk-38 Mod 2 25mm machine gun system, as well as .50 caliber machine guns as it approaches. As you can see from the footage, the small boat doesn’t stand a chance.
Image courtesy of YouTube