The naval forces of Iran’s Army and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) have formed a strong “defense chain” from the north of the Persian Gulf to the Northern Indian Ocean, which stands ready to respond to any threat and act of aggression against the country, a senior commander says.
“We are telling the enemies that we will give a response to any threat against our country’s waters and interests,” Iran’s Deputy Navy Commander for Coordination Rear Admiral Hamzeh Ali Kaviani said on Tuesday during a ceremony to welcome the 69th fleet of warships at the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas.
He added that the country’s naval forces would continue to maintain a constant and powerful presence in the high seas to safeguard national interests free from reliance on other countries.
“One of the notable features of this fleet of warships is the mighty return of the entirely Iran-made destroyer, Sahand, [to the country] which berthed at Bandar Abbas port after nearly 70 days of voyage,” Kaviani said.
He emphasized that Sahand’s successful return was a strong response to those who claimed that Iran lacks the capability to build destroyers.
The commander said the Iranian naval forces’ capabilities are well beyond constructing destroyers.
Iran, in 2018, launched its most advanced military vessel, Sahand, which has radar-evading stealth properties and can sustain voyages lasting five months without resupply.
The vessel 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.
The Sahand is the third of Mowj-class frigates built by Iran after the Jamaran and the Damavand, but its enhanced operational capabilities and size make it twice stronger in terms of offensive and defensive features.
The 69th fleet of warships of the Iranian Navy, comprising Sahand destroyer and logistical warship Bandar Abbas, ended its 67-day mission and returned to the country after travelling a total 7,888 nautical miles during its overseas journey and tracking over 700 vessels, 36 of which were Iranian tankers and commercial vessels.
The Iranian Navy also dispatches its 70th fleet of warships, comprising of Lavan logistic warship and Sabalan destroyer, to international waters to maintain security.
Over the past few years, Iran’s Navy has increased its presence in high seas to safeguard naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.
Iran has repeatedly assured other countries that its military might poses no threat to other states, insisting that the country’s defense doctrine is entirely based on deterrence.