Iran Navy allegedly forced a US submarine to surface in Strait of Hormuz

According to information published by Tass on April 20, 2023, the Iranian Navy has forced the USS Florida, an Ohio-class nuclear-powered submarine that attempted to cross the Strait of Hormuz, to surface.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Iranian Fateh class submarine IRIS Fateh. (Picture source: Tasnim News Agency)

The submarine was approaching the strait silently underwater and was detected and forced to surface by the Iranian submarine IRIS Fateh. The USS Florida changed course and continued its journey with an Iranian submarine escort since it was close to Iranian territorial waters and received a warning.

The US had announced in early April that the USS Florida, armed with nuclear-capable cruise missiles, would patrol the Middle East region as part of the Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain.

Comparison between the two submarines

The IRIS Fateh and USS Florida are two submarines with distinct differences in size, capabilities, and armament. The IRIS Fateh is a semi-heavy submarine with a displacement of 527 tons (surfaced) and 593 tons (submerged), while the USS Florida is an Ohio-class submarine with a displacement of 16,764 long tons (17,033 t) surfaced and 18,750 long tons (19,050 t) submerged.

In terms of propulsion, the IRIS Fateh uses a BLDC (Diesel-electric) engine that can reach speeds of 11 knots (20 km/h) when surfaced and 14 knots (26 km/h) when submerged. She has a range of 3,600 nautical miles (6,700 km) at 8 knots (15 km/h) when snorkeling and can stay at sea for up to 35 days.

In contrast, the USS Florida is powered by a S8G PWR nuclear reactor, two geared turbines, and a shaft that can deliver 60,000 shp (45,000 kW). She can travel at a speed greater than 25 knots (46 km/h) and has a test depth greater than 800 feet (240 m).

The two submarines also differ in armament. The IRIS Fateh carries six torpedoes/cruise missiles (4 x 533mm Torpedo Tubes) and eight sea mines, while the USS Florida is armed with four 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes and can carry 154 BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles in 22 groups of seven.