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Iranian navy shows off UAV capabilities

The Hengam-class landing ship Lavan with numerous UAVs on launch rails during the 15 January event. (Mehr News Agency)

The Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN) displayed support ships equipped with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in a 15 July event attended by its Commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani, and armed forces Commander Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi.

β€œUsing drones adds a significant capacity to our naval units and expands our dominance for hundreds of kilometres,” Rear Adm Irani said in a television interview.

The Iranian media released photographs and video footage, showing various UAV types being launched from the Hengam-class landing ship Lavan (514), the support ship Delvar (471), and a Kilo-class submarine that was identified as Tariq .

Most were launched from rails using rocket boosters, including what appeared to be Ababil-2 and Arash types, which can be used to conduct one-way attacks. Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) television news coverage of the event showed a floating target and a target on land being hit by UAVs.

The one launched from the submarine appeared to be a new, smaller type, roughly similar in size and configuration to the Warmate loitering munition made by Poland's WB Group.

A UAV that appeared to be an Ababil-3 – a reusable surveillance type with wheeled undercarriage – was shown taking off from Lavan from a rail. The UAV may have been fitted with a parachute and a flotation device so it can be recovered from the sea, although this was not shown.

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