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Surface Forces: Iran Has Another
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May 3, 2011: Iran's second domestically built large warship, the 1,400 ton Vilayet (the second ship of the Jamaran class), will be stationed in the Caspian Sea. Iran is trying to expand its growing (slowly) naval power on all its coasts (Caspian Sea, Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean). Thus, for the last three years, Iran has had one or more of its few surface warships working with the international anti-piracy patrol off Somalia. This was the first time since the 1970s that the Iranian Navy has conducted sustained operations outside its coastal waters. Despite their own Islamic radical government, the Iranian sailors have got along with the other members of the patrol, including the United States (which is officially the "Great Satan" back home). Encouraged by this, Iran announced that it would send more of its warships off to distant areas, mainly to show the world that Iran was a naval power capable of such reach.

Technically, the Iranians can pull this off, but just barely. And this is mainly because, in the last decade, Iran has been building some larger warships. Not really large, but big enough to take trips across the Indian Ocean. A year ago, for example, the Iranian Navy sent its first domestically built destroyer, the Jamaran, to sea. This was the "destroyer" that Iran announced it was building four years ago. In fact, it's a 1,400 ton corvette. The new ship has a crew of 140, and is equipped with anti-aircraft, (one 40mm and two 20mm cannon, four small missiles) anti-submarine (six torpedoes) and anti-ship (four C-802 missiles) weapons. At the moment, the Jarmaran seems to be filled mostly with hope and press releases.

The Iranian navy could certainly use some new warships. Currently, the only major warships it has are three elderly British built frigates (1,540 tons each), and two U.S. built corvettes (1,100 tons each). There are about fifty smaller patrol craft, ten of them armed with Chinese anti-ship missiles. There are another few dozen mine warfare, amphibious and support ships. The three most powerful ships in the fleet are three Russian Kilo class subs. There are several older North Korean mini-subs as well, some of them built in Iran. Or so it is said.

All that's been heard of from Iran's naval shipbuilding facility at the Bushehr shipyard are reports of labor problems. There have been strikes and lockouts, and complaints of poor designs and sloppy management. Iran has, for the last two decades, announced many new, locally made, weapons, that turned out to be more spin than substance.

Iran does have commercial shipbuilding firms, that produce merchant ships that are larger than destroyers. Thus it was believed that Iran could build something that looks like a destroyer. The Jamaran class ships have Chinese C802 anti-ship missiles, but a lot of the other necessary military electronics are harder to get and install in a seagoing ship. Iran has coped by using commercial equipment. This does not make for a formidable warship, but does enable high seas operations.

A more appropriate high seas warship, although less impressive looking, is the Russian built Kilo class subs Iran has. This is a 30 year old design that first entered service in 1982. So far, 49 have been built, 42 are still in service and more are under construction. It may be an old design, but it is mature and has been updated with modern electronics and quieting technology (that makes it more difficult to detect under water.) Iran received three of these boats in the 1990s.

The Kilos weigh 2,300 tons (surface displacement), have six torpedo tubes and a crew of 52. They can travel about 700 kilometers under water at a quiet speed of about five kilometers an hour. Top speed underwater is 32 kilometers an hour. Kilos carry 18 torpedoes or SS-N-27 anti-ship missiles (with a range of 300 kilometers and launched underwater from the torpedo tubes.) Kilos can stay at sea 45 days at a time. It can travel at periscope depth (using a snorkel device to bring in air) for 12,000 kilometers at 12 kilometers an hour. The combination of quietness and cruise missiles makes Kilo very dangerous to American carriers. North Korea, China, India, Indonesia, Romania, Algeria, and Vietnam have also bought Kilos. The main reason for purchasing Kilos is that they cost about half what equivalent Western subs go for. Current sanctions make it difficult for Iran to buy any more Kilo-type subs.


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Newton    Oh god he's at it again   5/3/2011 11:56:07 AM

1. It's the Moudge (or Mowj) class, not the Jamaran class (also spelled Jarmaran in this article) - the Jamaran is the first ship, and the Iranians do not follow the US custom of naming the class after the first vessel.

2. The second ship is the Velayat, not the Vilayet.
3. The vessel is also armed with the Fajr-27 cannon (76mm copy of the OTO Malara weapon of the same caliber).
The usual inaccuracies that have come to define this site.
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Gamefish    Not perfect, but OK   5/3/2011 3:28:06 PM
If you want to volunteer to be the Iranian editor maybe SP will accept you.  Sure they don't get it all absolutely correct, but we get the general picture which is why we read SP.  Point out their inaccuracies, but be grateful that they are trying to maintain this site -- I bet they are not getting rich at it.
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Newton       5/4/2011 12:13:26 PM
I have no interest in how much money they are making, but I do have an interest in the accuracy of their reporting.  Believe it or not I use this site as a technical resource, and quote it frequently, but of late the accuracy of many articles has become lamentably poor, with numerous typos and straight up factual errors, such as was the case with this article.
If you are prepared to tolerate low standards, then we stand apart.  It should either be right, or it should be corrected, for me there is no third option, and at the moment this article is neither.
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Gamefish    Misplaced standards   5/4/2011 3:23:59 PM
If you are using this site because of its technical accuracy then your claim of not tolerating anything but the highest standards is bogus. Because as I tried to make clear in my previous post, this is a "general information" site of "general interest" to those of us interested in wars and weapons around the world.  It is not the Jane's of war reporting, and there are many other more specific sites that are more technically accurate. IMO you should are depending on this site too much, it is not designed to be accurate to the nth degree.
You should take a look at some of the letters posted by the readers of the Air Combat section of this site -- the readers regularly berate the authors of this site on the technical information posted about aircraft.  I imagine they do that because the readers are (or were) pilots who fly the machines that SP tries to present, and are privy to a lot more technical information on aircraft than are this site's managers. 
I enjoy this site because it gives me a broad picture of what's going on.  If I need really accurate information I look elsewhere.  
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Newton    Tolerance of low standards   5/6/2011 2:27:29 PM
Then as I said we disagree, you are prepared to tolerate factual inaccuracies and sloppy reporting, and I'm not, and will continue to point it out every time I see it.  That has had some effect already, as the authors have gone back in to some articles and corrected mistakes I had noted previously, what improvements has you tolerance of sloppy reporting yielded thus far?
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