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Iran commissions Fateh submarine

20 February 2019
Iran’s Fateh-class submarine seen out of the water at the Bostanu shipyard in a photograph released but not taken on 17 February. It is missing the foreplanes that were seen on its hull in previously released television footage. Source: Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA)

The Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN) officially commissioned its first indigenously developed Fateh-class submarine on 17 February.

The ceremony was held at the Bandar Abbas naval base and was attended by President Hassan Rouhani. Defence Minister Amir Hatami was quoted as saying that the submarine weighs 600 tonnes and is capable of launching torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.

The Iranian media also reported that it can dive to 200 m and has an endurance of five weeks.

Photographs and television footage released for the event showed the boat out of the water at the Bostanu shipyard to the west of Bandar Abbas. It has four 533 mm torpedo tubes in its bow, but its propulsion system was covered up.

Photographs were also released showing the boat's retractable sensors, including an electro-optical mast and what appeared to be an optical periscope. Others may include a radar and electronic intelligence sensors for target-acquisition purposes.

The existence of the Fateh-class programme was announced in September 2011, although this may have been a new name for the Qaem project announced in 2008.

Commercial satellite imagery of the Bostanu shipyard in October 2013 confirmed that a new submarine with a length of more than 40 m had been launched. The boat was seen being launched in an Iranian television montage of military achievements broadcast in February 2014. In this footage it was seen with foreplanes mounted on its hull that were not present in the more recently released photographs.

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