Iran Continues to Increase Naval Capabilities
The country is amassing an arsenal of anti-ship missiles and is expanding its fleet of attack boats and submarines
The Washington Post reports that Iran is beefing up its naval capabilities in response to U.S. warships patrolling in the Persian Gulf. New capabilities include additional fast attack boats, submarines and anti-ship missiles. Iran’s accurate short-range missiles and swarm tactics could put U.S. warships to the test should a conflict arise in the gulf.
Tightening sanctions and continued nuclear talks with world powers have increased tensions in Iran, prompting the country to repeatedly threaten shipping in the gulf region. The country’s leaders have also threatened retaliation if any of their nuclear facilities are attacked. The U.S. believes the nuclear facilities are covers for nuclear weapons capability.
Just last week, Iran’s Foreign Ministry called the presence of U.S. warships in the gulf a “real threat” to the region’s security.
On Wednesday, U.S. Air Force Secretary Donley told the Capitol Hill Club in Washington that the Air Force’s 30,000 –pound Massive Ordinance Penetrator (MOP), designed to destroy deeply buried bunkers protecting nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, was ready for use if needed. The talk was centered around securing Syrian weapons, however the MOP, could easily be used in other countries posing a real threat.
The U.S. and its allies sent additional ships to the region to ensure that vital shipping lanes remain open and unthreatened. The U.S. has also announced new exercises in the region including mine-sweeping drills, and has amped up their presence with new radar stations and land based missile defense batteries in Qatar.
Earlier this month Iranian Navy Admiral Amir Rastegari told the state sponsored media that Iran’s navy has made great strides in its naval power, astounding global powers. He also reiterated the country’s ability to protect its interests near its coasts and thousands of miles away.
Earlier this year, state run media released this report, showing off additions being made to the Iranian Navy:
Recently built Iranian vessels:
- Iranian built submarine
Iranian Submarine Fateh (2011)
- Displacement: 120-150 tons standard
- Dimensions: 20 x 3 x 2.5 meters
- Propulsion: Diesel-electric propulsion
- Armament: 2 torpedo tubes, missiles
- Iranian built.
Ghadir 952 (2011)
Ghadir 953 (2011)
Ghadir 954 (2011)
Ghadir 955 (2011)
Ghadir 956 (2011)
Ghadir 957 (2011)
Ghadir 958 (2011)
Ghadir 959 (2012)
Ghadir 960 (2012)
Moudge class frigate (2)
- Displacement: 1,420 tons
- Dimensions: 94.5 x 11.1 x 3.25 meters
- Propulsion: 2 shafts; 2 diesels; 30 knots (56 km/h);
- Crew: 120-140
- Radar: Unknown
- Sonar: Unknown
- Fire Control: Unknown
- EW: Unknown
- Armament:4 x C-802 (Noor) anti-ship missiles, 1 x 76 mm Fajr-27 naval gun, 1 x 40 mm AAA, 2 x 20 mm cannons, 2 x triple 324 mm torpedoes
- Iranian built, they are reversed engineering of Alvand class frigates.
Velayat (Planned launch – 2012)