Iran has launched a new domestically-produced medium-class submarine that is reportedly capable of firing cruise missiles.
“The Navy is capable of defending not only our coasts in the Persian Gulf, the Oman Sea, the Caspian Sea and the Indian Ocean, but also the interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran with its presence and authority in international waters,” Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said at the inauguration ceremony of the Fateh class submarine in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas on February 17, according to his official website.
Praising the potential of the navy, Rouhani said, “Without a doubt, the power that can defend the country’s interests from hundreds of miles away is the Navy.”
“Bandar Abbas and all southern ports of Iran, the Strait of Hormuz and all our territorial waters are witness and proof of Iran's armed forces’ defending free shipping in the region and the flow of energy around the world, which suggests that Iran's power is never a threat to others.”
The semi-heavy submarine Fateh (meaning “conqueror” in Farsi), fills a gap in the Navy's fleet, between the light Ghadir class of submarines and the heavy Kilo class. The vessel has an underwater speed of 11 knots (20.35 km/h) and is capable of traveling submerged at 14 knots (25.9km/h). Fateh’s main purpose is to attack surface and subsurface floating vessels using torpedoes and missiles. The submarine is armed with four 533-mm torpedoes, and it can carry eight sea mines and two reserve torpedoes.
The locally-made 600-ton underwater vessel is also allegedly capable of firing cruise missiles. It is equipped with torpedoes and naval mines in addition to cruise missiles and can operate more than 200 meters below sea level for up to 35 days.
Fateh is reported to have advanced sonar systems, combined battle management, a sub-level rocket guidance system, torpedo guidance, electronic and telecom warfare, secure and integrated telecommunication systems and surface-to-surface systems.
More than 120 industrial centers, 80 knowledge-based companies and 57 universities as well as 195 research centers worked to build Fateh, according to Iran’s Fars news agency. Iran is said to be ranked amongst the top 11 countries in the world that have mastered submarine-building.
Despite U.S. and international sanctions on Iran, military experts and engineers have made headway in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment in an attempt to make Iran’s armed forces self-sufficient.
The Secretary of Iranian Aviation Technology Development Headquarters, Manouchehr Manteqi, announced on February 16 that his office is actively seeking to develop its drone-building technologies.
“We aim to choose a national brand for all drones made in Iran, which pave the way for exporting to other countries.”