Iran’s navy launched a domestically made destroyer on Saturday. The warship, according to the state media, has radar-evading stealth properties. Tensions have since rose with arch-enemy, the United States.
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, state television reported.
In a ceremony carried live on state television, the Sahand destroyer — which can sustain voyages lasting five months without resupply — joined Iran’s regular navy at a base in Bandar Abbas on the Gulf.
“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.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) December 1, 2018
Iran has worked towards the development of a variety of ground, air, naval and missile weapons systems since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Relations between Iran and its chief potential adversary, the United States, escalated earlier this year after Washington withdrew from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May.
The United States has since said that 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.
Iran’s navy has extended its reach in recent years, launching vessels in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden to protect Iranian ships from Somali pirates operating in the area.