19 killed in Iranian Navy “friendly fire” mishap in Gulf of Oman

The stern of the Iranian Navy support ship Konarak shortly after the "friendly fire" incident on May 10, 2020 (Photo: Iranian Ministry of Defence)

The Iranian Navy reports that 19 of its personnel were killed after a fleet support ship was struck by a missile during an exercise in the Gulf of Oman on Sunday, May 10.

The incident occurred when an anti-ship missile fired by the frigate Jamaran hit the support vessel Konarak while the crew of the latter were deploying dummy targets in the water as part of the exercise.

Iranian officials said the frigate had been aiming at one of the dummy targets but the missile it fired ended up inadvertently striking the support ship.

Officials clarified that Konarak was struck as it had failed to manoeuvre a safe distance away from a recently deployed target.

The support ship remained afloat following the incident. It was later towed to an unidentified Iranian port to allow investigators to assess the damage.

The weapon involved in the mishap was a new type of anti-ship missile that had been slated to undergo a series of at-sea tests. The exercise which involved Konarak and Jamaran was conducted as part of those tests.

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