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IRGCN receives new vessels

The IRGCN's converted container ship Shahid Mahdavi . (IRNA)

Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) formally took delivery of over 80 vessels on 9 March, including the converted container ship Shahid Mahdavi (110-3) and a new high-speed air-defence vessel.

IRGCN Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri described Shahid Mahdavi as a multi-purpose long-range vessel that is fitted with a phased array radar and an advanced communications system. It can carry 41 tonnes of cargo that can include helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), fast attack craft, long-range cruise missiles, and air-defence systems. He added that the 240 m-long ship has an endurance of 18,000 n mile and a top speed of 18 kt.

Media coverage showed it carrying two Mi-17 helicopters, various UAV types, four anti-ship missiles behind its superstructure on its starboard side, and two small fast attack boats on the port side. The boats can presumably be launched and recovered using the cranes at the rear of the superstructure.

The ship is armed with four twin 23 mm anti-aircraft guns and several heavy machine guns. A phased-array radar could not be seen, but it has two antennas for commercial marine radars and two satellite communications domes.

While Shahid Madhavi was shown at sea, the rest of the vessels were lined up for the handover ceremony at the IRGCN's main base in Bandar Abbas. The Iranian media reported 95 vessels were handed over, but the coverage showed 83 on land and a new transport ship, Shahid Ghorbani, docked nearby.

They included 62 small attack boats of a type that has been seen in previous handovers and might be the Tareq class that Rear Adm Tangsiri referred to in his speech, saying they have been upgraded from rocket-armed to missile-armed ships.

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