Iran unveils submarine that can launch cruise missiles

By Allen Cone   |   Feb. 19, 2019 at 11:54 AM
Iran's homemade semi-heavy submarine dubbed Fateh, or Conqueror, is unveiled in southern port of Bandar Abbas, Iran, on Sunday. Photo by Iran Presidential Office/EPA

Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Iran has unveiled a homemade submarine that the nation says is capable of firing cruise missiles several hundred miles and staying more than 650 feet underwater for five weeks.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani showed off the semi-heavy sub dubbed the Fateh, or Conqueror, on Sunday to thousands at the port city of Bandar Lengeh.

"We will not bow down to the hegemonic power. We are ready to sacrifice ourselves and spill our blood to protect Iran," Rouhani said at the ceremony, according to Al Jazeera.

The submarine was unveiled one week after the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

"There are definitely messages, which are being conveyed to Washington, D.C.," Maysam Bizar, a Tehran-based journalist, told Al Jazeera, noting it is an "old tradition" to show off its new military equipment during the revolution anniversary.

The 660-ton sub was entirely produced domestically, according to Rear Admiral Amir Rastegari.

The manufacturing process began on March 21, 2008, which "is a record since the average time in the world is between 12 to 15 years," he said.

The vessel includes 412,000 pieces, utilizing 76 state-of-the-art technologies and 4.2 million working hours that utilized 120 industrial centers, 80 knowledge-based companies, 57 universities and 195 research centers, the official Mehr news agency reported.

"Fateh submarine was a leap in building submarines and it completed the defensive chain of our country below waters," Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, commander of Iranian َArmy and Navy, said of the new vessel.

The submarine includes surface-to-surface systems, torpedo launcher, advanced sonar, electrically powered propulsion, battle management systems, integrated electronic security and communications technology.

"Defense Ministry's Marine Industries Organization is prepared to carry out the missions of the Islamic Republic's powerful naval forces, including the IRGC, Army and the Police Force in designing, constructing and supplying advanced marine equipment and weapons, fast, surface, sub-surface and ground-effect vehicles using the state-of-the-art technology," Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami, Iran's defense minister, said in a report by Mehr.

Iran's first submarines were Soviet-made Kilo-class boats deployed 20 years ago, according to Sputnik News. Iran successfully launched its first domestically-produced submarine in 2006-07.

Iran has increased missile development since the United States pulled out of the 2015 nuclear agreement with other world powers and reimposed sanctions last year.

The nation's missile program was not covered by the nuclear agreement, and Iran says they are developing missiles for defensive purposes.

Earlier this month, Iran announced a successful test of its new cruise missile, Hoveizeh, with a range of up to nearly 850 miles, capable of striking Israel.

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