The IRGC, Iran’s second navy, has developed the world’s first very small air-defense boat, amid growing concerns about Tehran’s burgeoning military power, which is viewed as a threat by countries in the Persian Gulf and Israel.
The creation of a small defense boat is unique in and of itself.
According to Naval Analyst and OSINT expert HI Sutton, this is the first-of-its-kind vessel Iran has likely produced for domestic use by the Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy.
After the which, a video of a Nawab surface-to-air missile being released from the boat’s Vertical Launch System went viral on social media. According to military observers, the British Bladerunner was modified and converted into this air defense vessel. This is due to the hull’s similarity to the Bladerunner.
The vessel is reportedly called the ‘Zulfiqar-class,’ which is confusing because the name is used for a variety of other military equipment in Iran. Sutton believes that this small air defense boat is primarily armed with short-range surface-to-air missiles (likely the Nawab).
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy received three indigenously developed vessels outfitted with advanced air defense systems last year.
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Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsir, Commander of the IRGC Navy, claimed at the time that the nation’s new speed boats use cutting-edge technology produced by domestic firms to avoid hostile radar.
Although some small boats typically carry MANPADS, this is the first small boat to be outfitted with a full surface-to-air missile system.
It is worth noting that smaller boats are especially vulnerable to air attack. However, this is just one of many examples of domestically produced innovative military equipment that has garnered international attention.
This vessel may be able to repel short-range air attacks from a swarm of other vessels. This would be significant given that global navies, including the US, are also working on unmanned surface vessels.
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