Iran Reportedly Launches 'Stealth' Destroyer
December 01, 2018
Iran has launched a domestically made destroyer, which state media said has radar-evading stealth capabilities, amid rising tensions with the United States.
In a ceremony on December 1 broadcast live on state television, the Sahand destroyer joined Iran's regular navy at a base in Bandar Abbas, at the mouth of the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
According to state TV, the Sahand has a flight deck for helicopters, torpedo launchers, anti-aircraft and anti-ship guns, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, and electronic warfare capabilities.
Iran added the first domestically made destroyer to its fleet in 2010 in the Persian Gulf. Reportedly Iran has five other destroyers.
"This vessel is the result of daring and creative design relying on the local technical knowledge of the Iranian Navy... and has been built with stealth capabilities," Rear-Admiral Alireza Sheikhi, head of the navy shipyards that built the destroyer, told the state news agency IRNA.
On November 29, Iran's navy announced the acquisition of two mini-submarines designed for operation in shallow waters such as the Persian Gulf, including one new sub and an overhauled one.
The announcements are likely intended to boost Iran's military image amid rising tensions with the United States, which in November reimposed all sanctions that had been lifted under a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of that deal in May. Trump said the agreement was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran's development of ballistic missiles or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.
The United States has said its goal is to reduce Iran's oil exports to zero. Senior Iranian officials have said that if Iran is not allowed to export then no other countries will be allowed to export oil through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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