It seems probable that a US Navy submarine, the USS Georgia (SSGN 729), has been detected by Iranian forces in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz. The circumstances are unclear.
It appears to show an Ohio Class cruise missile submarine (SSGN). The location and timing makes this almost certainly the USS Georgia (SSGN 729}.
The USS Georgia transited into the Persian Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz on December 21, escorted by US Navy cruisers and patrol boats. The inbound transit was made on the surface.
The circumstances of the shallow pass are unclear. The submarine is shown at periscope depth. A single DDS (dry deck shelter) is seen on the port side of the casing behind the sail. This hangar can carry SEAL Delivery Vehicles (SDVs) used by the US Navy SEALs.
The US Navy’s four Ohio Class SSGNs are by far the most heavily armed conventional strike platforms in the world. They can carry a total of 154 Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles (TLAM Block-IV) in their missile silos. When added to the torpedo room, this gives a total of 176 full-size weapons. Although the maximum load is reduced when the DDS is fitted.
Iran has been exercising its first indigenous patrol submarine, the Fateh, in the area. This conducted a torpedo test, and was itself spotted by some analysts using OSINT (Open Source intelligence).
It is possible that the American submarine gained intelligence of the exercises or other events.
The Persian Gulf is very shallow in many places and generally seen as less suitable for large submarines. That does not mean that the USS Georgia cannot operate effectively in that environment however, but it may make incidents like this more likely.
Posted by : H I Sutton
H I Sutton writes about the secretive and under-reported submarines, seeking out unusual and interesting vessels and technologies involved in fighting beneath the waves. Submarines, capabilities, naval special forces underwater vehicles and the changing world of underwater warfare and seabed warfare. To do this he combines the latest Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) with the traditional art and science of defense analysis. He occasionally writes non-fiction books on these topics and draws analysis-based illustrations to bring the subject to life. In addition, H I Sutton is a naval history buff and data geek. His personal website about these topics is Covert Shores (www.hisutton.com)