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Iranian destroyers to be equipped with homegrown Abu Mahdi cruise missiles: Navy Commander

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file picture shows Sahand destroyer of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy sailing in an undisclosed location. (By Tasnim news agency)

Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani says the country’s destroyers will be equipped with the indigenous Abu Mahdi naval cruise missiles.

The missile has been named after the former deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, who was assassinated along with top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike ordered by former president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport in 2020.

Irani said on Tuesday that efforts are underway to install the missile on Iranian military watercraft, noting that the country’s destroyers would be equipped with more powerful cruise missiles. 

Abu Mahdi naval cruise missile can well undertake its tasks once employed in electronic warfare systems and has undergone several tests, he said, adding that the enemies are aware of the missile’s features and have seen its capabilities in action.

“The combat capability, destructive power and operational range of Abu Mahdi cruise missile are significant, and we have set higher ranges on our agenda,” the Iranian Navy commander said.

He explained that the Iranian Navy’s surface-to-surface cruise missile power has doubled and that the country’s destroyers will be deployed to high sea for the first time with 8 cruise missiles mounted on them.

Irani also said that Nawab, a domestically-developed medium-range surface-to-air missile system, has already been installed on the Sahand destroyer. Point-defense weapon systems for detecting and destroying incoming missiles and enemy aircraft and anti-missile systems have also been used in the indigenous destroyer.

Elsewhere in his remarks, he said the homegrown Damavand destroyer is undergoing final tests and will hopefully join the Navy’s fleet on November 28.

He added that Shuhada-ye (Martyrs) Konarak support vessel has been redesigned and bears no similarities to its predecessor, which was heavily damaged in a friendly fire incident during a naval exercise in the Sea of Oman on May 10, 2020.

“The new generation of the vessel enjoys advanced and more sophisticated technologies and is going through construction phases. At the same time, various pieces of military equipment are being installed on it. It’s worth mentioning that the vessel can fire cruise naval missiles as well,” Irani explained.

Iranian military experts and engineers have in recent years made remarkable breakthroughs in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the armed forces self-sufficient.

Iranian officials have repeatedly underscored that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, including its missile power, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will be never subject to negotiations.

Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has repeatedly called for efforts to maintain and boost Iran’s defense capabilities, decrying enemies for questioning the country’s missile program.

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