Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy - Modernization
On 13 September 2016 Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Hossein Salami underlined that Iran will continue to develop and reinforce its naval strength and power. "The Islamic Iran's military might is unstoppable," General Salami told reporters after addressing a ceremony held to launch a long-range high-speed vessel capable of carrying military helicopters. Shahid Nazeri vessel is capable of conducting operations in close waters and carry 100 military personnel and military helicopters.
He reiterated that Iran has on top of its agenda boosting its defense and deterrence capabilities. "Everyday we witness a new vessel joining the IRGC Navy and we will grow more powerful and improve the quality of our products," General Salami added. General Salami said that the IRGC Navy has always acted powerfully and it has helped to the strengthening of Iran's defense capabilities.
In May 2016, Commander of the IRGC Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi declared that the IRGC has done all the necessary tests and will soon launch mass-production of modern speedboats that cruise at a speed of 80 knots (150 kilometers per hour) . "We have been able to increase the speed of our military vessels which are equipped with missiles and torpedoes up to 80 knots and this speed was tested late winter and now we are after mass-producing them," Fadavi said in an interview with state-run TV. "This is while the speed more than 35 knots is a dream for the world naval forces and the US vessels can cruise at a maximum speed of 31 knots," he added.
In relevant remarks in March 2016, Admiral Fadavi had said that the IRGC has the only Navy in the world that could design and manufacture this type of boats cruising at 80 knots per hour. Fadavi had said earlier this year that anti-ship cruise missiles and cannons were previously not available on speedboats, but the IRGC experts managed to mount them on the vessels. He added that the military vessels, capable of cruising at the speed of up to 120 knots (222 kilometers) an hour, could now be designed and tested at the IRGC naval research laboratory. In the past, he said, Iran had to carry out such tests abroad. The IRGC commander said the Navy plans to mass produce, within the next few months, speedboats that travel at a speed of 80 knots (150 kilometers) per hour, and are armed with missiles capable of striking targets at 100 kilometers (60 miles).
The top commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)'s Navy said 09 October 2019 that Iran planned to build speedboats that can sail at 100 knots (185 kilometers) per hour. “By tapping into the capabilities and technical expertise of our domestic elite, we will move toward production of speed vessels that can travel at the speed of 100 knots [per hour] in the near future,” Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri told reporters in the northern city of Rasht. "Today, marine vessels that cruise at 90knots/h will be unveiled," he added.
The term "knot" is normally taken to mean nautical miles per hour, so the term "knots/h" seems incorrect. In olden times there are several usage cases in popular literature of "knots per hour". For example, "the ship went ten knots an hour with a prodigious sea..." (Admiral George Anson, "Anson's Voyage Round the World", 1748) or "...we were at that time running at the rate of six knots an hour..." by the famous Captain Cook in his book, "Voyages", from 1790. The same usage continued by others with some experience of the nautical life: "When the ship was running nine knots an hour, these animals [porpoises] could cross and recross the bows with the greatest of ease, and then dash away right ahead." by Darwin; "We were gliding along, hardly three knots an hour..." — Herman Melville, Mardi: And a Voyage Thither, 1849.
Single-hull hydroplane boats are typically driven by means of a propeller in such a manner that the thrust axis produces a torque tending to cause the hulls to "rear." When running at high speed a trim of balance is sought in which the buoyancy tends to be of a hydrodynamic rather than hydrostatic nature. However, the balance remains essentially dynamic at high speeds. Any fluctuations in the operating conditions, for example a variation in the thrust provided by the engine or a change in the reaction between the hull and the fluid medium as will be caused by choppy seas, will disturb the balance of the vessel.
H1 Unlimited hydroplanes are the fastest racing boats in the world and their races are sanctioned by the American Power Boat Association, doing business as H1 Unlimited. The majority of the H1 boats are powered by turbine-engines that produce 3,000 horsepower, allowing the H1 Unlimited hydroplanes to reach speeds of nearly 200 mph, producing a massive 60-foot tall, 300-foot long wall of water called a “roostertail” behind them. No thrust is created from the jet turbine engine exhaust. The engine’s output is hooked to a “gearbox” that has a single adjustable gear ratio that reduces the engine speed to the appropriate output shaft speed to make the propeller work most efficiently.
A hydrofoil is a lifting surface, or foil, that generally operates in water. Hydrofoils are similar in appearance and purpose to airfoils, which are used by airplanes. As a watercraft using hydrofoils gains speed, low pressure is developed above the foil and high pressure is developed below the foil creating lift. When used as a lifting element on a hydrofoil craft, this upward force lifts the body or hull of the craft, decreasing drag and increasing speed.
One problem associated with either submerged or piercing foils hydrofoils is "sonic cavitation". Because water is 700 times more molecular dense than air, once a hydrofoil reaches speeds much over 60 mph molecular "bubbles" from the top and bottom of the foil crashing into each other at the trailing edge of the foil causing cavitation. Similar to a separation bubbles in air, cavitation largely increases drag and often also reduces lift, thus resulting in loss of speed. It appears that the speed "wall" for hydrofoils is around 100-110 km/h and conventional hydrofoils generally cannot handle seas above about 6-12 feet. Thus, hydrofoils have experienced very limited commercial application and success.
Wing-in-ground (WIG) watercraft that use ground effect to fly above water are used primarily over water due to the relatively constant surface of water that is free of obstacles. Generally, such watercraft have large fixed wings, about 1.5 times greater than the height of ground effect in which they fly, the ground effect extending approximately 10-30 feet above the surface of the water. WIG craft largely travel at very high speeds, above approximately 50 mph, and as high as 100 mph or greater, which is achieved by using small engines. They also include a fuselage or hull that travels in the water when not in ground effect. WIG watercraft are desirable, particularly as transport vehicles, because they are more fuel-efficient than conventional watercraft, utilize small engines and are capable of travel at high speeds which can reach over 100 mph, thus covering large distances quickly.
Over 100 vessels were delivered 28 May 2020 to the Revolutionary Guards are in the class of Ashura, Zulfiqar, Haidar, etc. The vessels are designed and manufactured by specialists from the Ministry of Defense's Marine Industries Organization and Armed Forces Support, and were claimed to have advanced and excellent capabilities in the field of naval combat, including intelligence, radar evasion, high mobility and maneuverability.
On 08 February 2021 Iran's military supplied the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy with 340 combat speedboats on the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. The speedboats joined the IRGC Navy's fleet in Iran's southern port city of Bandar Abbas during a ceremony on Monday, attended by Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, IRGC Commander Hossein Salami and IRGC Navy Commander Alireza Tangsiri. The speedboats, co-produced by the IRGC Navy and the Defense Ministry, are capable of carrying various types of rockets to attack enemy targets. They will be used in missions in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, as well as in the Caspian Sea.
Speaking at the ceremony, Major General Baqeri lauded the IRGC Navy, saying the force has successfully performed the task of establishing security in the region, especially in the Strait of Hormuz, through which more than two-thirds of the world's fossil fuel passes. "The Persian Gulf is of significant importance, and remarkable efforts should be made for its security," he said. "The IRGC Navy has been able to maintain such security." He described the speedboats as agile, maneuverable and equipped with radar-evading stealth technology. The commander underlined Iran's success in boosting its naval power in spite of sanctions imposed by the United States.
Over the past years, Iran has made major breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing military equipment and hardware despite sanctions and economic pressures on the country. The Islamic Republic maintains that its military power poses no threat to other countries and is merely attentive to its military doctrine of deterrence.
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