Iran claims to have launched two vessels
By Jeremy Binnie
The Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN) announced on 18 September that it had launched two vessels: the 'Kilo'-class submarine Tareq and the destroyer Sahand .
Satellite imagery suggests this was a misleading announcement released to coincide with the start of a major US-led naval exercise in the Persian Gulf on 16 September.
Iranian television showed footage of Tareq moving out of the dry dock at the Bandar Abbas naval base where it has undergone a multi-year refit and taking up its berth next to its two sister boats.
However, the Iranians had already announced the relaunching of the submarine in late May, when footage showed it in a flooded dry dock at Bandar Abbas. DigitalGlobe satellite imagery taken on 6 September showed that it had moved out of the dry dock and was berthed next to the other two 'Kilos' by that date, meaning the footage shown on Iranian television was filmed earlier.
Although described by the IRIN as a destroyer, Sahand's design is based on that of the four Alvand-class frigates that were built in the UK for Iran in the 1960s.187 of 450 words
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