Iran has deployed its most advanced warship, a destroyer named Sahand (74), to escort Iranian commercial vessels in international waters around the Arabian Peninsula, a top military official announced Monday.
Along with Sahand, Iran also deployed a helicopter-carrying support ship, Kharg, to the Gulf of Oman and the Gulf of Aden, according to Admiral Habibollah Sayari, the Coordinating Deputy of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army (AJA).
The new development came amid rising tensions between Washington and Tehran.
The Sahand is the third of Mowj-class (Moudge-class, Moje-class) frigates built for the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (NEDAJA) as a development of the Alvand-class frigate design. The class is described as destroyers by the Iranian state media but the size and weight of the ships; 1,500 ton displacement, are more in keeping with that of modern corvettes or earlier light frigates.
Sahand reportedly has enhanced operational capabilities and size compared to the first two vessels of the class, named Jamaran and Damavand, making it “twice stronger” in terms of offensive and defensive features.
The vessel is 96 meters long and can cruise at 25 knots. It has a helicopter flight deck, torpedo launchers, anti-aircraft and anti-ship guns, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles and electronic warfare capabilities.
According to a state TV report, the vessel can sustain voyages lasting five months without resupply.
The vessel was commissioned into the Navy’s Persian Gulf fleet during a ceremony at Bandar Abbas naval base on Dec. 1 last year.