Iran held a ceremony recently to mark the addition of two new patrol ships, the Shahid Sayad Shirazi and Shahid Bagheri ships, to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy.

Iran has two navies: the official navy and the IRGC Navy. Iran’s Maj.-Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, head of the armed forces, attended the ceremony.

These ships look different than most naval ships. They are based on a catamaran or twin-hull design and have a sleek futuristic look, apparently based on inspiration and designs from the Chinese Type 22 missile boat. China has more than 80 of these coastal patrol vessels, which are 42 meters long. The Iranian ships are 60m. long.

Iran is seeking to build four of these ships. The ship has a helipad on its stern section and can also apparently hold fast boats. It has naval radar and anti-ship cruise missiles, according to reports.

Iran believes these vessels have stealth aspects. Iran has invested in these types of designs recently to make up for Tehran’s lack of naval power. Another ship, the Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, represents a second type of twin-hull design along with a third type Iran commissioned back in 2016 called the Shahid Nazeri.

The new vessels the Shahid Sayad Shirazi and Shahid Hassan Bagheri have a top speed of 45 knots and are 67m. long and 20m. wide. Iranian media Tasnim and Fars News both followed the ceremony with these new ships. Tasnim claims the vessels are “equipped with Nawab vertical launch missile defense system and Sayad cruise missile with a range of 700 km. They are also capable of carrying three light missile launchers and an armed combat helicopter.” They have a range of almost 5,000 km. at sea, the report says.

This could bolster Iran’s role off the coast and its ability to threaten shipping. Iran claimed last week to fire a ballistic missile from its Shahid Mahdavi, a large cargo ship that Iran converted for use with the IRGC.

Bagheri, attending the ceremony, discussed the strength of Iran’s armed forces and discussed the war in Gaza. He praised Iran’s shipyards for building the new ships and said that the conditions today in the Middle East are “sensitive and dangerous.” He slammed the US and then praised Hamas for its October 7 attack. “The defense deterrence of the Islamic Republic has created a stable shield for the national security and national defense of our country, but the armed forces are obliged to take the smallest threats and possibilities in threat scenarios very seriously and consider their probability as high,” he said.

Bagheri said the war in Gaza marks a turning point in the history of the region: “The fate of this war is completely clear, there is no doubt about the unique and irreparable defeat of the Zionist regime by some of the oppressed people under the siege of Gaza, and no power can change the fate of this war. The Zionists suffered a defeat that cannot be compensated.”
He then said that the current frontline in the region is now composed of the Palestinians, the Houthis in Yemen, Hezbollah, and Iraqi “resistance” groups, who he said are fighting the “cruel, shameless and criminal Zionists and lying America and Europe.”
Iran is openly admitting today how it is backing all these proxy groups to spread chaos and war in the region. Bagheri’s comments reveal the overall mission of Iran today and how it views the region. It sees the current conflict as a huge game-changer. The new patrol boats it has launched are part of its attempt to increase the range of its naval forces and project Iranian power.

Source » jpost