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Iran has launched one of its new stealthy catamaran “missile corvettes” according to open-source intelligence analyzed by expert H.I. Sutton, who runs the Cover Shores website. He noted that this took place as many have been distracted by monitoring the Iranian Makran warship which is sailing close to the UK this week.
Meanwhile, a new boat was put to sea in recent weeks. “The boat, which is a large stealthy catamaran design, was launched at a yard on Qeshm Island between June 27 and July 2,” Sutton noted. This ship is described as one of several under construction that will be called the Shahed Soleimani class of ships. At 65-m. long, it will apparently wield anti-ship missiles and air defense.
Back in April, a satellite image from Planet Labs, also analyzed by Sutton, noted that it included the third of Iran’s new catamarans designed for this class of ships. “This little-known shipyard near the Straits of Hormuz is linked to the IRGC and has been massively expanded,” he wrote.
This is not the first catamaran the Iranian navy has put to sea. According to Thomas Newdick at The Drive, the US Navy has released video of an IRGC ship called the Shahid Nazeri harassing US ships back in April. “The Shahid Nazeri is a larger catamaran-type, high-speed design that appears to be armed with a 20 mm. cannon and has a helipad on top of its rear deck,” he noted. Commissioned in 2016, the ship is 55-m. long and participated in a drill with the Russian and Iranian navies. It is based in the city of Bandar Abbas, along the Persian Gulf.