Check it out to see the evolution of military fortifications on these islands. The high quality of the imagery is astounding.
Second Edit - April 17
Looking over Abu Musa some more, I continue to be amazed by the high-quality imagery of such an important strategic location, especially given the recent tensions between Iran and the UAE over their ownership.The HQ imagery is somewhat of a double-edged sword as it poses just as many questions as they answer.
One example of that problem is this fighting position in the south-west portion of the island. It ostensibly looks like a conventional AAA position common to the island; it is equipped with a raised concrete pad and is adjacent to a number of small ammunition storage and crew pits. Upon closer inspection though, this concrete pad is unique in that it has
The island's port has seen significant construction between 2006 and 2011. This includes a fort that shares several design features with the forts on the Iran-Afghanistan border such as circular turrets located at opposing corners. To the east is another fort, this time within a security perimeter, indicating high-value of some sort; a trench connects the building to a second fenced-off area with several dome objects within them. GPS jammers perhaps, or other communications or EW devices? To the west of the large fort is another building that is somewhat obscured by dirt; perhaps an attempt at deception, or maybe the IRGCN has adapted what we in the northwest call a 'living roof' and are now going the eco-sustainable route for power-projection. West of this is a blue shed and boat-ramp identical in design to the dry-docks used by the Iranian military elsewhere. A substantial jetty provides protection for a fairly substantial fleet of HSPBs, including a decent number armed with navalized rocket launchers. North of the jetty is a large building of indeterminate purpose. Any guesses on what this might be, mundane or otherwise?
|Abu Musa port facilities|
|Two different examples of Iran-Afghanistan border forts|
The south-eastern tip of the island has seen the construction of a wide array of beach defenses and defensive fortifications. Unsurprisingly, they are placed to defend against the most likely direction of an amphibious assault to seize the islands. The sheer quality of the imagery available on Google Earth illustrates just how much Iran has turned the island into a pin-cushion; there are trenches cut into the top of earthen revetments connected to pillboxes and other fighting positions. Bunkers and strongpoints are set at regular intervals. Further inland are pre-prepared firing positions with attached bunker, likely for rockets, ASCMs, or other artillery. AAA positions, often with protected fighting positions and control centers, dot this area.
The HAWK battery that was transferred to the island in the 90s appears to have been reactivated in some form or another and there are now a handful of support buildings and networking cables.