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'Soleimani' warship gives Iran presence in international seas, says navy

Iranian Revolutionary Guards navy, Alireza Tangsiri [Twitter]

The commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy, Commodore Alireza Tangsiri has stated that the country's naval forces will have a presence in international waters, which he attributed to the recently unveiled Martyr Soleimani warship.

Tangiri made the comments yesterday days after the patrol combat warship was showcased during an unveiling ceremony in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas on Monday. "This is the Islamic Republic of Iran's first domestically developed warship that is equipped with vertical-launch short-range and medium-range air-defence systems," Major General Mohammad Bagheri, the armed forces' chief was quoted as saying.

Tangiri explained that the vessel, named after the late Quds Force commander, Major General Qassem Soleimani who was assassinated in a US-ordered drone strike at Baghdad Airport at the beginning of 2020, was developed over a period of three years and manufactured locally, by Iranian experts despite the US-imposed sanctions against the country.

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The navy commander added that the presence of IRGC naval forces in the Persian Gulf has contributed to lasting stability and maritime security in the region.

According to the open-source intelligence firm Janes, the Shahid Soleimani as it is known locally is the navy's new class of catamaran and the largest heavily armed vessel in its arsenal.

The vessel's design "reduces its radar cross-section, enables it to operate in adverse weather conditions, and makes it more manoeuvrable than similar-sized ships. It can also operate far from its bases, a role that the IRGCN, which largely operates small attack craft, has not traditionally performed."

Iran's PressTV reported that the hull of the Shahid Soleimani combat patrol vessel is "equipped with radar-evading stealth technology, meaning that it has a very low level of radar cross-section."

"The vessel, thanks to its shape, can undertake all kinds of operations in open seas, and is capable of cruising in adverse weather conditions."

The warship can also "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."

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