SNF U) The preponderance of the action between U.S. and Iranian forces on 18 April 1988 during Operation Praying Mantis occurred in the same area where the 3 July 1988 incident with USS Vincennes took place. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Briefing).
c. Iranian Aircraft Attacks on Shipping
SNF U) The Iranian Air Force and Iranian warships have conducted a total of 187 attacks on shipping since the campaign began in March 1984, most of those attacks occurred prior to August 1986. Fighter aircraft conducted a majority of these attacks using iron bombs and Maverick missiles. In comparison to the attacks conducted by the IRGC small boats, the air attacks were among the most damaging. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Briefing).
SNF U) Following August 1986, Iranian fighter aircraft were rarely used in the ship attacks in an apparent attempt to conserve platforms. (IO Exhibit 14, FOSIF WESTPAC 060847Z May 88).
(3) (Redacted) Redacted per FOIA (b)(1) (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Briefing).
S U) The Iranians have an inventory of over 1000 Maverick missiles. Each missile can be launched from ranges of .5 to 13 NM and television guided. The launching aircraft must be able to keep visual track of the target but does not have to illuminate the target with radar. (IO Exhibit 14, Possible Iranian F-14 Weapons).
(5) (Redacted) Although there has been no record of F-14s being used for iron bomb attacks, the aircraft is capable of being modified to be used in that role. To use iron bombs, the F-14 would have to close to within Redacted per FOIA (b)(1) of the target. That information was included in the intelligence information provided to USS Vincennes on inchop. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Briefing).
SNF U) The most recent, confirmed Iranian Air Force anti-shipping attack was on 2 February 1988 when 2 Iranian F-4s launched two Maverick Missiles at the Liberian Tanker, Petrobulk Pilot, at 30NM SSW of the point where USS Vincennes launched its missiles on 3 July. (IO Exhibit 14, Intelligence Background Briefing).
SNF U) The IRGC is reportedly training pilots to fly suicide missions. (IO Exhibit 14, FOSIF WESTPAC 061020Z APR