Iran deploys submarine, cruise missile in exercises

TEHERAN (AFP) – The Iranian navy on Friday (Sept 11) deployed home-grown military equipment, including a submarine and a cruise missile, on the second day of exercises near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

The submarine dubbed the “Fateh” – Persian for “Conquerer” – was seen in action for the first time and sailed up the Indian Ocean, the military said on its website.

The near 600-tonne sub is equipped with torpedoes, mines and cruise missiles, and can stay underwater at a depth of more than 200 metres for up to 35 days, according to Iranian media.

Unveiled last year, it is Iran’s first submarine in the semi-heavy category, filling a gap between its light Ghadir class and heavy Kilo class submarines.

Dubbed “Zolfaghar 99”, the three-day exercises are being held over waters stretching from the northern Indian Ocean to the eastern end of the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of world oil output passes.

The Iranian navy also test-fired a “Ghader” land-to-sea cruise missile first unveiled in 2014, saying it successfully hit its target at a distance of over 200km.

The installation of missile systems “all across the country’s southern coast has enabled us to target any threat at sea from any point”, navy commander Hossein Khanzadi said.

“This is not about deterrence; it’s about attacking any target that could pose a threat for Iran,” he said on state television.

Videos aired on state television showed the missile being fired from a mobile system installed on a truck, with Rear Admiral Khanzadi thanking the crew afterwards.

A locally-made “Simorgh” combat drone also destroyed its targets using “smart, precision bombs” in waters more than a 1,000km away, the navy said.

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