Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy has unveiled a domestically-developed patrol combat vessel named after the country’s top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport in January 2020.
The military achievement was put on display during a ceremony in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas on Monday.
Chief of Staff of Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Bagheri, the IRGC Chief Commander Major General Hossein Salami, Commander of the IRGC Navy Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri and a number of other high-ranking military officials, commanders and state officials attended the ceremony.
During the ceremony, the IRGC Navy also took delivery of Shahid (Martyr) Rouhi and Shahid Dara high-speed and missile-launching assault boats.
The hull of Shahid Soleimani combat patrol vessel is equipped with radar-evading stealth technology, meaning that it has a very low level of radar cross-section, according to Major General Bagheri.
The vessel, thanks to its shape, can undertake all kinds of operations in open seas, and is capable of cruising in adverse weather conditions.
Shahid Soleimani military watercraft also has a much higher maneuverability and a much smaller turning radius compared to vessels of the same size, enabling it to implement various offensive and defensive missions.
The vessel runs on four indigenous high-power engines, which give it the chance to be quickly dispatched to the designated zone, and go on long-haul maritime missions without the need for coastal support as it defends the interests of the Islamic Republic in high seas.
Moreover, it can carry helicopters, and is equipped with large helipads intended for use by military choppers as well as vertical take-off and landing unmanned aerial vehicles.
Shahid Soleimani vessel, given its combined combat features, can also carry and launch various types of fast attack craft during operations in open seas.
The watercraft is equipped with the most sophisticated reconnaissance, surveillance, telecommunications and electronic warfare systems as well as radars. It can identify and monitor designated targets at sea level, below sea level and in the air.
Among other features of the vessel is the use of homegrown self-protection systems, modern communication and telecommunication equipment, various types of encoders and data links.
“This is the Islamic Republic of Iran’s first domestically-developed warship which is equipped with vertical launch, short-range and medium-range air defense systems,” Major General Bagheri said.
He added, “It is also equipped with automatic and semi-automatic systems, in addition to 20mm and 30mm cannons for peripheral defense in case of confrontations with enemy aerial and maritime objects.”
The chief of the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces further noted that Shahid Soleimani vessel is equipped with the first combined launch system of short and medium-range surface-to-surface (SSM) missiles, enjoys an operation room that relies on an indigenous software for integrated management of combat zones, and has the ability to detect different type of targets and threats and assign them to offensive and defensive systems.
For his part, the commander of the IRGC Navy said that Shahid Dara high-speed and missile-launching assault boat has four engines, weighs six hundred tons and has an operational range of five thousand knots.
Rear Admiral Tangsiri highlighted that Shahid Rouhi military vessel is 37 meters long, has a missile range of 180 kilometers, and can cruise at 850 nautical miles.
Iranian military experts and technicians have in recent years made substantial headway in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the armed forces self-sufficient in the weaponry sphere.
Iranian officials have repeatedly stressed that the country will not hesitate to boost its military capabilities, including its missile and drone power, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will never be subject to negotiation.