On Thursday, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) announced its newest warship, a converted ocean cargo ship outfitted to carry missile launchers, helicopters, and drones. The IRGC announced its latest warship after an Iranian official on Tuesday threatened the U.S. with a “crushing response” if it attacked Iran.
The IRGC’s Sepah News website announced the unveiling of the new warship, known as the “Shahid Roudaki” or “Martyr Roudaki,” during a Thursday ceremony attended by the IRGC Commander-in-Cheif Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami and other military and national officials. In it’s translated press release, the IRGC emphasized the vessel’s ability to carry out missions in the open ocean and noted the ship was equipped to provide security for Iran’s maritime shipments.
Video of the Shahid Roudaki shows missile trucks, drones, smaller IRGC speedboats, and a helicopter sitting on its deck.
The IRGC press release described the Shahid Roudaki “ocean liner” as “a heavy, multi-purpose and long-range vessel that is capable of carrying and operating all types of aircraft, UAVs and missile, defense and radar systems.”
— Press TV (@PressTV) November 19, 2020
The converted 150-meter long, 22-meter wide ocean cargo liner reportedly weighs 12,000 tons and comes equipped with surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, and a three-dimensional fuzzy array radar. Iran says the multi-purpose warship is also capable of carrying helicopters and drones.
Thus far, the IRGC’s navy power has consisted of a number of smaller speed boats, which they have mostly used in swarming tactics to harass ships. The IRGC has primarily carried out its swarm boat tactics inside the Persian Gulf, though the IRGC emphasized the new warship’s ability to operate in the ocean and said the new warship will provide security to Iran’s maritime transportation ships.
Iran has previously sent maritime ships, including gas tankers, to countries like Venezuela, but past shipments have been blocked or seized. In October, the U.S. warned Iran against sending shipments of missiles to Venezuela, and a U.S. official stated, “We will make every effort to stop shipments of long-range missiles, and if somehow they get to Venezuela they will be eliminated there.”
The IRGC said, “Shahid Roudaki heavy combat, intelligence and support ship is a mobile naval city that is ready to carry out ocean missions with all the necessary equipment and facilities by creating stable security of maritime transportation lines and providing relief to the commercial and fishing fleets of the Islamic Republic and regional countries.”