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Explainer: Iran expands its fleet of naval catamarans with two new warships

By Press TV Staff Writer

At an impressive ceremony in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas in Hormozgan province on Monday, two new warships from the Shahid Soleimani-class were delivered to the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC).

The two catamarans, Shahid Sayyad Shirazi and Shahid Hassan Bagheri are named after legendary Iranian military commanders known for their military heroics during the imposed war in the 1980s.

The ceremony was attended by Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Bagheri, IRGC Navy commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, and other top military officials.

In his speech, General Bagheri proudly highlighted the progress in the Islamic Republic’s naval capabilities, noting the astonishing efficiency in research-to-production timelines.

He noted that Iran's progress is nearly unmatched compared to other developing nations while renewing calls for the immediate withdrawal of US-led foreign forces from the region.

General Bagheri also emphasized the armed forces' readiness to take even the smallest threat to the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity seriously, ensuring constant preparedness.

Discussing the situation in the West Asia region, he pointed to the irreparable military defeat of the Zionist regime in the Gaza Strip, referring to the desperation of the occupying regime to target defenseless Palestinian civilians after failing to take on the resistance.

Elaborating on the regional dynamics, General Bagheri distinguished between two groups: the righteous side, which includes Palestine, Yemen, Lebanese Hezbollah and resistance groups in Iraq and Syria.

And the other side, which includes the Anglo-American-Zionist alliance and Europe, constantly harping about the hypocritical mantras of democracy and human rights.

Technical characteristics

In his speech, Rear Admiral Tangsiri touched upon certain specifications of the two new warships, describing them as domestically designed and manufactured catamarans with discernible stealth contours and sophisticated materials for radar evasion.

He also said the two warships cam cruise within a radius of 5,500 nautical miles (10,200 kilometers) without being detected by enemy radars and reconnaissance systems.

This new data is an improvement over the first model of the Shahid Soleimani-class, whose range is 5,000 nautical miles, or roughly 9,300 km.

With this range, a warship of this class provides operational reach which covers the entire Indian Ocean and beyond, all the way to Cape Town in South Africa, Manila in the Philippines, or Antarctica.

The first model of the class, with hull designation FS313-01 and named after the famous counter-terrorist commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, was built at the Shahid Mahallati Shipyard in Bushehr and unveiled in September 2022.

According to the earlier statements by Tangsiri, the two new warships were built at the same time in different facilities of the IRGC.

Each of the three warships is 67 meters long, 20 m wide, and has a displacement of 600 tons, powered by four homegrown propulsion engines.

The hull of the catamaran is made of aluminum instead of steel, which, together with the design, increases maneuverability and speed, already known as 32 knots or roughly 60 km/h.

Armaments of warships

The Shahid Soleimani-class catamarans are the first Iranian warship equipped with vertical launchers, capable of launching different naval and cruise missiles.

There are six box launchers on both sides of the warship which can fire anti-ship missiles such as the Nasr, Nasir and Ghadir, with ranges of 35 to 300 km, four of which are Qader with a range of 300 km, and two of which are Nasr or Nasir with a range of 90 km.

This warship also has 16 small silos, eight on each side, for use in the air defense. According to Chief Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, the range of these Sayyad family missiles is more than 150 km.

On the bow of the ship, there is a 30-mm automatic cannon with a stealth design along with a thermal camera to control it, which gives the ship the ability to engage light vessels and cruise missiles as the last line of defense.

For point defense, the warship also uses four 20 mm three-barrel Gatling guns, located on the edges of the hull.

The helipad is able to carry the Bell-412 heavy helicopter with anti-submarine capability, as well as all kinds of reconnaissance and offensive drones that the IRGC operates.

Below the helipad, there is a crane for launching speedboats or drone boats, also capable of firing torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.

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