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The Maersk Tigris Incident, 28 April 2015. Alternate History Scenario.


A Harpoon Commander's Edition scenario for the Middle East IOPG Battleset and the HCDB-140909 1980-2015 era Platform Database.


Image: An MH-60S Knighthawk flies by the guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99) during a replenishment-at-sea evolution in the Arabian Sea on Dec. 4, 2012. The Knighthawk is attached to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8 and is assigned to the Military Sealift Command USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10). DoD photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate, U.S. Navy.(Released). Origin: DoD and Wikipedia.


This scenario is designed to be played from the Blue/US side or from the Red/Iranian side. You should play a few times first the Blue side to avoid spoilers, and only later play the Red/Iranian side.


From 28 April 2015 the container ship M/V Maersk Tigris, in operation from 2014, 62292 t DWT, chartered by the Danish company Maersk Line, world's largest container shipping company, and flagged in the Marshall Islands, which the United States bears security responsibility for, in one of the numerous 2014-2015 naval incidents, was intercepted and seized while she was transiting through the Strait of Hormuz sailing from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Jebel Ali (a UAE port near Dubai) by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) light crafts, after some warning shots over the bridge.

The ship was seized, as by the Iranian explanations, because an allegedly unresolved cargo claim

over unpaid debts brought by the Iranian company Pars Talaie ten years old (is usual to seize a ship because a court order, but only anchored or in port, never sailing or in transit).

But many analyst suspect is only an excuse of the theocratic Supreme Leader of Iran to justify to his people his naval capabilities, after the failure a few days earlier to use sea lanes to send weapons and support to the Yemen Revolutionary Committee and the Shia Islam's sympathizers Houthi fighters faction in the ongoing Yemen 2015 Civil War (Just near 23 April 2015 the Iranian frigate Alborz and the oiler and supply ship Bushehr were escorting nine Iranian cargo vessels off Yemen, but their access to the coast was denied by Saudi, Egyptian and American warships).

After the seizure, at current times (2 May 2015) in the real world M/V Maersk Tigris is anchored in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, waiting for the issue solution.

On this alternate history scenario the IRGCN fails a first attempt to seize Maersk Tigris, the ship flies and demand support from the near US forces, doing the military engagement inevitable.

Is of consideration Iran only compromises his Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) ships to seize Maersk Tigris, and not his regular Navy, probably to avoid escalation in the conflict and in case of failure use IRGCN as scapegoat, saying was IRGCN decision to seize Maersk Tigris.

One of the purposes of this scenario is to capture the speed, chaos and flavour of this type of asymmetrical engagements, and to test the swarm attack theories.


Enrique Mas, 2 May 2015.

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