Iran launched a destroyer in the Caspian sea on Sunday, according to the country’s state media. The new battle ship was built domestically and launched with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad looking on.
The event was the first time Iran launched a major warship in the oil-rich region. The destroyer is a 1420-ton warship and is longer than a football field.
It has a 20,000-horsepower engine and can sail at a maximum of 30 knots. The destroyer was launched into the water near the northern port city of Bandar Anzali.
The ship will undergo additional testing and will formally join Iran’s navy in six months. The new destroyer has been described by Iran’s state media as a “symbol of the Islamic Republic’s capability and strength.” Despite it being a military vessel, its launch is also meant to convey “the message of peace and friendship to the Caspian Sea states.”
Iran’s new destroyer has been named the Jamaran 2 after its predecessor, the Jamaran. The original destroyer was launched in the Persian Gulf in 2010. The new warship is also equipped with surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles. It also boasts anti-aircraft batteries and sophisticated radar and communications systems.
President Ahmadinejad added about the new ship, “The destroyer is there to meet those who want to jeopardize the security of surrounding nations.” A dispute is ongoing in the region about hos best to divide the inland sea. Along with Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan also have coastlines along the Caspian Sea.
The new destroyer’s domestic roots are not a surprise. Iran has been working to build a self-sustaining military since 1992. The country can reportedly produce its own jet fighters, tanks, missiles, and small submarines. It also reportedly builds its own torpedoes.
The new destroyer will soon join Iran’s naval fleet already present in the Caspian Sea. It is not clear what impact Iran’s launch of the destroyer will have on the region.