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Iran Adds New Submarines To Its Naval Fleet

By Orkhan Jalilov December 4, 2018

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Two Ghadir-class submarines were commissioned in a ceremony held in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas on November 29, to mark Navy Day. / MEHR News Agency

The Iranian Navy has unveiled two new domestically-made submarines that are capable of launching subsurface-to-surface missiles.

Two Ghadir-class submarines were commissioned in a ceremony held in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas on November 29, to mark Navy Day. The submarines are designed to cruise within the shallow waters of the Persian Gulf to ensure peace and security of Iran's maritime borders, according to reporting by the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA).

One of the submarines was dubbed Ghadir-955 and built in 18 months. The other, a previously built Ghadir-942, took 10 months to overhaul. The submarines have sonar-evading technology and can launch missiles from under water as well as fire torpedoes and drop marine mines. 

Iran began manufacturing Ghadir submarines in 2005, and the first of them was unveiled in 2007. By 2012, five such submarines were incorporated into Iran’s navy.

“Currently, Iran enjoys the powerful naval fleets of the Army and IRGC [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps] which are in full coordination with each other to ensure the security of the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Gulf of Oman”, the Commander of the Iranian Navy, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, said according to Ettelaat newspaper.

Khanzadi stressed that Iran is now capable of manufacturing a destroyer in less than two years, adding that Iran’s naval fleet is completely domestically made. He said that the first domestically-made Fateh-class submarine will join the Navy in the coming month, and that it will surprise Iran’s enemies. He did not elaborate on what that means, or which countries he considers Iran’s enemies.

According to reports, the Fateh (“conqueror”) submarine is a 100 percent, domestically-sourced technology manufactured by the Ministry of Defense. The 600-ton vessel is among semi-heavy submarines and is equipped with torpedoes and naval mines. It is said to operate at more than 200 meters below the water’s surface for about five weeks without resurfacing.

Amir Rastegari, managing director of the defense ministry's Marine Industries Organization, announced on December 1 that Iran is capable of mass-producing and exporting Qadir submarines.

“Some of the friendly states are in negotiations with us to design submarines for them as well," Farda news website reported Rastegari as saying, without clarifying which countries are interested in doing business.

He also added that a home-made torpedo, Valfajr, mounted on the submarine has a destruction power six times more than that of a cruise missile and can drown a 1,000-ton vessel in less than 10 seconds.

On December 1, Iran added its advanced domestically-made destroyer called Sahand to its naval forces in the Persian Gulf during a ceremony held in the port city of Bandar Abbas.

“The first feature of Sahand is that its radar-evading capability has increased up to 30% and the form of its hull makes its detection by radars more difficult,” said Rear Admiral Ali Qolamzadeh, the head of the Self-Sufficiency Jihad wing within Iran’s navy, according to Fars news agency. “Also the number of its radar and weapons system has at least been doubled and new electronic war systems have been mounted on it,” he added.

Qolamzadeh said that the navy will mount its new, long-range, phased-array radar system named ‘Asr’ on Sahand if no newer radar system is made in the country.

The Iranian Navy announced in late 2013 that it planned to equip Sahand, which was at the time still being constructed, with more advanced weapons and electronic systems than its first-generation destroyer, Jamaran, had on board. Sahand is said to be capable of journeying across oceans for 150 days along with a logistics vessel.