IRGC Navy Takes Delivery of Two New Stealth Warships


The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Navy has taken delivery of two new Soleimani-class corvettes, with the vessels, the Sayyad Shirazi and the Hassan Bagheri, inaugurated at a ceremony in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas on Monday.

The unique new class of warships, named after fallen IRGC Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani, constitutes one of the most sophisticated military vessel designs in Iran’s arsenal, featuring a unique, low-observable hull design and equipped chock full of some of the latest Iranian radar, sensor and weapons technology.

The new ships are 65 m long, have a 600-ton displacement and are powered by four Iranian-made diesel engines which allow the vessels to accelerate to speeds of up to 32 knots. The ships can remain at sea continuously for up to 14 days at a time, have a 2,000 nautical mile range, and are capable of operating in moderate to rough sea conditions.

Onboard, the ships bristle with missile and air defense systems, including Iran’s new Navvab vertical launch system for missiles, four 20 mm triple-barreled Gatling guns, a 30 mm autocannon, 16 Sayyad-series SAMs, and six Abu-Mahdi naval cruise missiles.

The ships can carry a combat helicopter and three fast attack boats.

There is some confusion in reporting about the two new vessels in Iranian media. The Shahid Soleimani, the lead ship in the series, was commissioned in September 2022. In January, the IRGC commissioned an outwardly similar-looking but smaller warship, the Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (named after the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces commander who was assassinated by the US alongside Qasem Soleimani in 2020 in Baghdad). The latter warship, not to be confused with the Soleimani-series, is 47 meters long, can accelerate to speeds up to 37 knots, and is a separate class of military vessel.

Iran began experimenting with stealth-oriented, twin-hull warship designs in 2016 and the commissioning of the Shahid Nazeri, an 800 ton, 55 meter long, twin-engine catamaran with a slender aluminum hull, a 5,400 nautical mile range, and space for one helicopter.
Taking part in Monday’s ceremony, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mohammad Bagheri praised Iran’s naval deterrence power as a “reliable shield” protecting the nation against foreign aggression, while slamming Washington for using the crisis in Gaza as an excuse to expand its presence in the Middle East.
Bagheri praised Iran’s defense industry, pointing out that the situation today is markedly different from what it was during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988, when the Islamic Republic’s naval forces in the Persian Gulf were “empty-handed before enemies.” Today, he said, Iran’s warships are equipped with “world-class technology” and successfully “designed and produced in Islamic Iran” in spite of sanctions.
“The Islamic Republic’s defensive deterrence has created a reliable shield for national security and defense, but the Armed Forces must take even the smallest threats and possibilities in threat scenarios very seriously,” Bagheri stressed.
Western observers have characterized Iran’s exploration into the field of stealth catamarans as an indication that the country is looking to expand beyond a speedboat-dominated coastal defense strategy toward aspirations of true regional naval power.
Armed Forces Deputy Chief of Staff Aziz Nasirzadeh confirmed on Sunday that Iran has plans to develop the nation’s “regional and extra-regional power in the seas toward the Indian Ocean.” Iran took its first steps toward the status of fledgling global maritime power in 2021, sailing a miniature flotilla halfway around the world to St. Petersburg, Russia, and repeating and topping its record in 2023 in two-ship trip that circumnavigated the globe.



Source: PressTV, Sputnik News