According to Iranian state media, President Rohani has inaugurated a new domestically built submarine armed with cruise missiles.

“Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran is fully self-reliant on land, air, and sea,” Rohani told a launch ceremony in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas.

“Our defensive power is meant to defend our interests and we have never sought to attack any country,” he told the event broadcast live on the state-run Press TV.

Some have disputed this however, including Mark Episkopos here:

“It has been known for some time that Fateh vessels will carry four 533mm torpedoes with two more in reserve, as well as eight naval mines. Iranian sources have provided much less concrete information on Fateh’s onboard cruise missiles, which can allegedly be fired from a submerged position.

Coming in at less than 50 meters in length and with a small frame to boast, it remains to be seen how many, and exactly what types of cruise missiles can be crammed into the vessel. Also unclear is whether some or all of its six onboard torpedoes will have to be rotated out to accommodate the cruise missiles in question.”

21 COMMENTS

      • I’m inclined to agree with you GWM. I wouldn’t want to get on board an Iranian built submarine with Iranian built ‘cruise’ missiles. I’m sure they sailors are as brave as anyone else’s, but something just tells me training wouldn’t be great, corners would be cut etc. Not that I have one bit of evidence to support this, but the Kursk incident. the argentinian sub that sank, cant remember its name. Lives lost due to poor kit, poor training, poor procedures?

        I’m sure some of you ex RN types will have a much better insight.

    • Its politics. To their domestic audience it looks good. The point about credible threat is that they only have to kill a few US sailors and they can boast at great victory

  1. The Iranians have a huge habit of making themselves look bigger than they really are. Whislt the Fatah is deemed a heavy submarine it is actually a dinky one. Showing a picture of a Kilo is somewhat disingenuous as the Kilos come in at 2300 tonnes. If you want to see how large these submarines really are
    https://twitter.com/D__Mitch/status/1097182240721776642

    Yes, all weapons can be deadly, but without wanting to appear complacent , I’d take anything the Iranian Mullahs say with a pinch of salt.

  2. …but the Iranians do have Kilos and Kilos can fire cruise missiles and supersonic anti-ship missiles, so don’t underestimate them. I’m impressed by the Iranians ability to reverse engineer aircraft and missile parts, and keep older aircraft serviceable. I’ve met razor sharp Iranians here in the states – strong engineers. I’m probably over-doing this a bit… I’m just saying that I don’t think the Iranians would be a push-over.

    • <b<Nick Bowman wrote
      ,b> I’m probably over-doing this a bit… I’m just saying that I don’t think the Iranians would be a push-over.

      Nick, I never stated that they would be a push over, I stated that without wanting to appear complacent ,I’d take anything the Iranian mullahs say with a pinch of salt. For example when they came out with a stealth aircraft, a stealth ship or even their so called stealth drone which Obama gave them a start with. Yes they can reverse engineer things, Be it a 70s ship sold to them by the British, A F5 sold to the by the Americans during the 70s or even a TOW missile sold to handed over to by ollie north. The fact remains the vast majority of the weapon systems it clones are designs that are deemed obsolete by the west.
      I’m not saying they wouldn’t cause anybody any hurt, they have that ability like any other force, but at this moment in time they have yet to come up with anything that is innovative.

  3. Hi folks hope are all well.
    Yes a bit concerning even if we factor in doubtful credibility of the subs efficiency. They could pose a danger to civil shipping in the event of some dispute or a blockade. This would cause a resource issue with us and other Western powers been taken up by a cat and mouse game untill we loose patience and sink one or both subs, of course this would escalate to a hard military engagement which no one wants. Nonetheless, currently there is tention with Iran and we need to be prepared to act with caution by this additional tool they have.

  4. I am in 2 minds about this, Iran are a pretty dangerous country, but equally sanctions and isolation is making things worse rather than better.

    Forcing the world to take them more seriously, specifically Israel, could help improve stability in the region.

    Many people believe that the idea of MAD has prevented WW3, so just a question on whether the Iranian government can be trusted with the eventual capability.

    • They have manifestly proven they can’t. Ask the Embassy they seized ask the Embassies in other countries they bombed, and ask the men killed in the barracks they blew up in Beirut. Then ask all the the men killed by arms, ammunition, explosives and training they supplied the insurgents in Iraq.
      So do not trust them ever under any circumstances. They already violated every single law of armed conflict and therefore should be treated as such.

      • I happen to agree with you that they should not be allowed to have nukes but the rant about not obeying the laws of armed conflict raised an eyebrow. Any idea who we’ve been supporting recently? Think our friends in the Syrian mess are goodies? And our chums the Saudis? Good eggs to a man I’m sure. The lines between who’s good and bad are much finer than you’re making out and I for one am sickened by picking sides and peddling arms. The region is a mess we’re better keeping our hands off. Hopefully once we’re weaned off oil, we’ll be able to do just that.

  5. Umm! I see this as alarming although the trigger happy Iranians are no match for UK and US sailors.

    Any nation that has the know how and ability to build domestically is a threat when it comes to defence

    The Iran issue is never going to go away and while Russia remain in Syria, Iran will feel it has an ally and given time we able to add to its capability.

    I can’t see Russia pulling out the region now and that suits Iran nicely.

  6. Umm! I see this as alarming although the trigger happy Iranians are no match for UK and US sailors.

    Any nation that has the know how and ability to build domestically is a threat when it comes to defence

    The Iran issue is never going to go away and while Russia remain in Syria, Iran will feel it has an ally and given time we able to add to its capability.

    I can’t see Russia pulling out the region now and that suits Iran nicely.

  7. Definitely know that Iran supplied arms to the Taliban during my time in Afghan, as we confiscated a number of arms shipments that drove from the border to Herat (W Afghanistan). Two “jingly” trucks packed with locally manufactured RPGs and AK/PKs. Most of the weapons and ammo was factory fresh. It was the plastic explosive which was more worrying as one shipment weighed a metric ton. Are they any worse than other countries, depends what side of the fence you’re on!
    Janes have announced, that during their tri-service exercise off the Gulf coast , they launched a sub launched cruise missile, didn’t say if it was submerged, but you have to assume it was.

  8. Presumably diesel electric ? It might not be much threat to a modern warship, but it doesn’t need to be. My bet is that this would be deployed to shut the straight, any tanker captains brave enough to risk taking a torpedo ? If it sat stationary it could be hard to detect. Only has to hit one oil tanker or worse an LPG / LNG tanker and nothing goes through the straight again.

    If we send in ASW ships don’t they risk getting hit by land based anti ship missile, so we need to send ships with good anti air to defend the ASW ships….. It gets messy fast, and they could just hit a tanker and run for port.

    I could imagine that the Iranians would regard one small sub in exchange for an oil tanker and maybe a surface warship as a decent exchange. Especially as the entire objective will be to close the straight.

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