Iran’s UUV to add new dimension to its warfare capability: Forbes

May 30, 2020 - 18:32

TEHRAN — Iran’s newly unveiled Uncrewed Underwater Vehicle (UUV) will add a new dimension to the country’s systematic warfare capability, Forbes reported on Friday.

According to the report, the vehicle is loosely comparable to the Boeing BA Orca extra-large uncrewed underwater vehicle (XLUUV), which is being developed for the U.S. Navy, in terms of size category and, crucially, diesel-electric propulsion, if not sophistication.

It means that “Iran joins an elite club with only the U.S. Navy and Britain’s Royal Navy having such large UUVs.”

The vessel was displayed at a ceremony to introduce over 100 new boats to the Islamic Revolution Guard Corp (IRGC) Navy. 

Two people were on the casing during the parade. One was perched on a makeshift chair using a heavy-duty remote controller to steer the vessel. The other appeared to be helping with the connection cable for the controller. 

This may reflect the early development phase of the vehicle, although we should not place too much weight on this, the report said, adding that parades are often done differently from operations.

“The absence of a protective sail where a crew person can stand while it is on the surface indicates that the craft is not intended to be crewed.”

“Many IRGC-N craft appear garage-built, and this UUV is no different. On the side it proclaims “we can do it” in the Farsi language. But it does appear to use a cylindrical steel hull which is essentially the same as a submarine. Iran builds many midget submarines so this is well within their industrial capabilities,” it added.

IRNA on Thursday published photos of delivery of more than 100 vessels in various classes to the IRGC naval base in Bandar Abbas in the presence of Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami and the IRGC Commander Hossein Salami.

Pointing to the photos, The National Interest said they appear to show several types of fast boats that Iran favors in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, as well as a rather odd assortment of submarines or semi-submersibles.

It said that though not exactly an upgrade in terms of Iran’s naval capabilities, the likely unmanned nature of their newest sub points to one of Iran’s most important strengths.

The National Interest further said, “In the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf Iran doesn’t have to be prepared to win a conflict, it just has to have enough leverage to hinder traffic and make more powerful, more sophisticated opponents take pause.”

“The likely-UUV does just that—it could never go head-to-head with the United States Navy, but it could give a surface group pause—just enough of a threat to hinder operations and slow down their potential adversaries. Beware the homemade ships of Iranian origin,” it added.

MH/PA

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