Iran claims its new submarine can launch cruise missiles in warning to U.S., Israel

Iran unveiled a new submarine this week that the government claims can launch cruise missiles while employing state-of-the-art technologies aimed at interdicting U.S. Navy warships and carriers in the Persian Gulf.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani introduced the new domestically-built semi-heavy sub dubbed the Fateh, or Conqueror, on Sunday to thousands at the port city of Bandar Lengeh, UPI reported.

The Iranians said that the Fateh can remain underwater for five weeks at a depth of 650 feet and is capable of launching cruise missiles that can travel more than several hundred miles.

“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 sub was unveiled just a week after Iran’s 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, which some analysts said was intentional.

“There are definitely messages, which are being conveyed to Washington, D.C.,” said Maysam Bizar, a Tehran-based journalist, in an interview with Al Jazeera.

He added that it’s an “old tradition” to show off Iran’s new military equipment during the revolution anniversary.

Rear Admiral Amir Rastegari said the Fateh was entirely produced in Iran. He noted that the sub’s construction began in 2008, but it’s completion “is a record since the average time in the world is between 12 to 15 years.”

The sub is comprised of some 412,000 pieces and employs 76 state-of-the-art technologies, Iranian officials said, as quoted by state media. Also, the sub took 4.2 million working hours to construct at 120 industrial centers featuring 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,” said Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, commander of Iranian َArmy and Navy.

The sub features torpedos and surface-to-surface weapons all of which are integrated into a new battle management system that includes advanced sonar. The sub is powered by a diesel-electric system which makes it very quiet.

“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.

Tehran’s first submarines were Soviet-built Kilo-class boats that were first deployed two decades ago. The Iranians launched their first home-produced submarine around 2006.

Some question whether Iran has really built the new sub on its own or the country had outside assistance.

Press TV published a promotional video of the sub:

Earlier this month, Iran announced it had conducted a successful test of its new cruise missile, the Hoveizeh, that has a range of up to nearly 850 miles, which is capable of striking Israel.

The Jewish state, meanwhile, has a small navy and submarine force, but it is highly advanced and arguably one of the most sophisticated in the world. The Israeli navy’s sub force also represents the country’s “second-strike” nuclear capability.

The navy received its fifth new sub, the INS Rahav, in 2016.

“Our submarine fleet serves as a deterrent to our enemies who seek our destruction.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the time. “They need to know that Israel is capable of hitting with very great force anyone who tries to harm us. And Israel’s citizens need to know that Israel is a very strong country that is doing everything to defend them, everywhere and on every front.”

Foxtrot Alpha reports:

Built in Germany, [the Rahav] is a variant of the highly capable Dolphin 2 class of diesel-electric submarines. She joins four other boats in Israel’s fleet, the Dolphin, Tekuma, Leviathan and Tanin. The first three of which are Dolphin 1 class, with the Tanin being the first of the improved Dolphin 2 class.

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