Iran's Revolutionary Guard launches heavy support vessel
On 19 November, the Revolutionary Guard of Iran launched a heavy support vessel capable of carrying helicopters, drones and rocket launchers, the official website of IRGC SEPAH News reported.
The ship's images, named after slain naval guard commander Abdollah Roudaki, showed it carrying surface-to-surface missiles and anti-aircraft missiles fired by trucks. Four small fast boats were also brought, the kind that the Guard regularly uses in the Persian Gulf. Deck-mounted machine guns are manned by sailors.
The ship has a length of 150 meters, the Guard said. A US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier has a length of 332 meters, by contrast. The Guard's ship has no runway, but it includes a helicopter landing pad.
Guard Navy Commander Adm. Ali Reza Tangsiri indicated that his forces decided to move deep-water patrols beyond the waters of the Gulf.
The Guard usually covers the waters of the Persian Gulf, while the Gulf of Oman and beyond is patrolled by Iran's navy.
The ship appears to be a response by its Bahrain-based 5th Fleet to U.S. Navy patrols in the area. U.S. aircraft carriers regularly sail over the waters of the Mideast. Iran sees those missions, as well as the increasing presence of Israel in the region, as a threat.
Maritime Business World