Iran make waves with news of hypersonic missile-armed frigate

According to statements from Iranian Navy officials, its latest Moudge-class frigate, the Damavand-2, will come complete with hypersonic missiles.
Christopher McFadden
The Jamaran, lead ship of the class.

Mehr News Agency/Wikimedia Commons 

Iranian Navy officials have stated that the navy's most modern warship, the Moudge-class Damavand-2, will come complete with hypersonic missiles. Variously reported as a destroyer or frigate, the news, if true, will provide a potent arsenal indeed for the Middle Eastern nation. This news comes only months after the nation showcased its "Fattah" hypersonic missile.

The Moudge-class is an entirely domestically developed class of ships which are, in turn, an improvement over the older Jamaran-class of ships. With a displacement of around 1,500 tons, the class of ships should more accurately be termed frigates. However, different countries may have varying conventions for classifying their warships, so a "frigate" in one navy might be similar in size to a "destroyer" in another.

The creation of the warship was made possible through the joint efforts of Defense Ministry experts, armed forces, particularly the Navy, and knowledge-based industries. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, it has also been "seamlessly integrated" into the Navy's active combat unit.

The Damavand-2 is a powerful ship

The Damavand-class allegedly boasts impressive features such as advanced radar and missile systems, powerful thrust systems, and state-of-the-art weaponry. According to Rear Admiral Irani, the equipment on the Damavand-2 frigate represents the latest technology in detection, identification, monitoring (DIM), and combat capabilities. This will also allegedly include hypersonic missiles.

According to Manouchehr Alipour, who serves as the deputy head of the Marine Industries Organization (MIO) and as a marine industry counselor to the Iranian defense minister, the country's experts have acquired advanced skills in creating and producing warships.

“It took 12 years to build the first Jamaran-class destroyer. Later, the Damavand-1 was built in 8 years, and Dena was delivered to the Navy after six years. We hope to deliver the Damavand-2 to the Navy in a much shorter time. We manufactured Damavand’s initial hull in 4 years, but the process to build the Damavand-2 took only 11 months,” Alipour explained.

“The reason for the amazing reduction in the time needed for designing the hull and building the destroyers was that we became proficient in designing and engineering destroyers and their equipment," he added.

Her predecessor had a spot of bother

However, the program has not been without its problems. The Navy's northern fleet welcomed the frigate Damavand-1 in March 2015. The 328-foot (100-meter) long and over 1,300 ton-frigate tragically sunk three years later while docked in Bandar Anzali due to a collision with a seawall. Recent images reveal that the vessel was salvaged from the water and reinstated for active duty. Equipped with a 76mm cannon and anti-ship cruise missile launcher, the ship is something to behold.

As for the need for the ships, according to Iranian officials, they were commissioned to safeguard naval channels and ensure the safety of commercial ships and tankers. Whether or not they will be equipped with the nation's "Fattah" missiles or another kind has not been disclosed.

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