Military


Bayandor Class

The US Navy regarded the Patrol Frigate anti-submarine ships as rather "low-tech" ships and as strictly a wartime expedient. In 1946-1947 nearly all of them were disposed of by sale to other nations' navies, to civilian users or sold as scrap. The Cold War begat another six ships with "PF" Patrol Frigate numbers, all built for foreign navies to a basically Italian design. The last of these were PF-107 and PF-108, delivered to Thailand in 1971 and 1974.

The first PF-103 Class Patrol frigate was laid down 28 August 1962 as PF-103 by Levingston Shipbuilding, Orange, Texas. It was launched on 7 July 1963 and completed on 15 May 1964. It was delivered and immediately transferred to Iran as Bayandor (F 25) on the same day 18 May 1964 at Charleston, South Carolina. Four others followed. These four (PF-103 through PF-106) went to Iran in 1964 and 1969. PF-103 went to Iran as Bayandor (F 25), PF-104 as Naghdi (F 26), PF-105 as Milanian (F 27), and PF-106 as Kahnamuie (F 28).

The lead ship was named in memory of Iranian Naval Commander in Chief Rear Admiral Bayandor (pronounced bay-endor) who was killed in a 1941 attack. On the morning of 25 August 1941, the HMS Shoreham trained her forward gun battery on the Iranian warship Palang, which was moored at an Abadan pier. A moment later, a shell slammed into the Palang, the explosion engulfing the vessel in a ball of fire and smoke. Hundreds of Iranian sailors, airmen and soldiers died. The Persian Government in spite of constant pressure had long tolerated and continued to encourage the swarms of German agents infesting the country. As a result a joint Anglo-Soviet invasion of the country was conducted, with the additional benefit of opening up another route for lend-lease aid to the Soviet Union.

Between 1968 and 1971, Whitehall assigned the Royal Navy an unusual mission, to defend a series of disputed Persian Gulf islands while the United Kingdom was selling arms to and conducting naval exercises with Iran, the very country that threatened to invade them. The ownership of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb, three islands astride the western approaches to the Strait of Hormuz, continues to be controversial. The Royal Air Force's interest in Iranian shipping near the Tunbs provoked an Iranian warning. Bayandor had manned and trained its guns on the Shackleton that overflew it near the Tunbs on 12 January 1968.

On October 13, 1996, the Ticonderoga class cruiser, USS Gettysburg (CG 64) collided with the Iranian Corvette Bayandor while conducting plane guard operations for the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) in the northern Arabian Gulf. There were no personnel casualties or injuries reported. Before the collision, warning bells sounded on the USS Gettysburg, which suffered minor damage to some flight deck safety nets. There was no damage repot for the the Bayandor. The Gettysburg, with a crew of 300, is a guided missile cruiser, at the time accompanying the carrier USS Enterprise on its mission of patrolling the no fly zones in Iraq. Military sources in the region said the incident did not appear to be intentional on the part of the Iranian boat.

The FS81 Bayandor and FS82 Naghdi were probably the most active large surface ships in the Iranian navy leading up to the 1990s. However, neither was equipped with anti-ship or anti-air electronics. By the 1990s only the Bayandor and Naghdi remained operational out of the original four vessels. Both of these were listed as in active service in 2008.




NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list