The Iranian Navy is in the process of major navalconstruction, including development of new lightfrigates, according to press reports from Tehran.Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, chief commander of the Navy, told reporters this month that indigenouslybuilt Moudge class vessels are part of themodernisation project.This class of vessel is understood to be based on theoriginal Alvand class light patrol frigates, which hadpreviously built by and in service with the UK RoyalNavy as the Vosper Mk V (or Saam) in the 1960s. Of the four original Alvand ships, three remain in servicetoday.Within Iran, the Moudge class is designated as adestroyer. With a displacement of over 1,500 tons,and a length of 94 metres, it is capable of carrying asingle medium-sized helicopter (currently a Bell212/214) and operates 324 mm light torpedoes foranti-submarine warfare at a range of 30km.Surface-surface weapons include the Noor missile,representing the first Chinese export of the C-802,with an operational range of 170km. Earlier this year,the missile saw wargame test launches with newfeatures, including jam-resistant radarand advancedtarget acquisition.Of the vessels,
has been in service since2010, but by current scheduling, the plan is to launchthe second Moudge class frigate of its kind, known as
, by March 2013, and will be based at theport town of Bandar Anzali.According to Sayyari,
will offer highercapabilities than its predecessor such as the possibleinclusion of enhanced C-803 missiles.The frigate developments mark a major point of interest in Iran’s expansion of its naval presence.The news follows the annual joint force exerciseinvolving several naval powers, including Britain,Saudi Arabia and the United States, whichdemonstrated a show of force in the Strait of Hormuz believed to be in efforts to deter Iranianaggression in the region.It is felt that the narrow body of water, throughwhich 35 per cent of the world’s oil trade transitions,is a likely target for Iran to attempt to block off in theevent of a dispute.
Iran building new “destroyers”