The Iranian navy got a new ship. Shahid Soleimani is a 65-meter long rocket catamaran, designed and built by Iranian industrial forces. Its creators emphasize several innovative – for Iran – solutions. What is this ship interesting for?
At first glance, Shahid Soleimani is distinguished by the structure of the catamaran. It is worth noting that this is another unit of this size, built in a double-hull system, previously used e.g. by the Taiwanese in the series Tuo Chiang missile corvettes.
According to Iranian sources, the ship has such a solution smaller radar signatureand at the same time greater seaworthiness, thanks to which it can operate in unfavorable weather conditions. It is also more maneuverable than units of a similar size built in the classic, single-hull configuration.
Heavily armed catamaran
– This is the first nationally developed warship of the Islamic Republic of Iran to be equipped with air defense systems short to medium range vertical take-off, said Iranian general Mohammad Bagheri in commenting on the newest acquisition of the fleet.
In addition to vertical anti-aircraft missile launchers, the ship has six launchers on board anti-ship missiles. A small, high-speed unit with strong weapons could be a potential threat to American ships operating in the Persian Gulf region, including aircraft carriers.
The armament of the ship is complemented by – probably – a 30 mm gun in the bow, as well as four 20 mm cannons. As noted by Jane’s, these are probably modified cannons from the three-barrel 20mm M197, mounted on the Iranian AH-1J attack helicopters.
The ship is equipped with a small landing pad (without a hangar) at the stern, under which there is room for an additional speedboat.
Revolutionary Guard Ship
Shahid Soleimani was named after General Ghasem Soleimani, killed by the Americans during the visit to Baghdad in 2020. This is probably the first in a series of combat catamarans – satellite photos show that at least two other similar ships are being built in Iranian shipyards.
The Iranian military has an unusual structure – next to the army, there is an independent Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has its own types of armed forces, including air force and navy. This is where the newest Iranian catamaran was introduced.
Łukasz Michalik, journalist of Wirtualna Polska