Last week, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), one of the Iranian Armed Forces’ multi-service primary branches, is said to have completed the world’s first known very small air-defense boat. This report comes amid rising concerns about Tehran’s rapidly increasing military power in the Middle East region, which certain countries in the Persian Gulf and Israel see as a threat.
Yet Another Outlandish Concept
According to Naval Analyst and open-source intelligence (OSINT) expert HI Sutton, the said odd lethal craft is more likely to be used domestically by the IRGC Navy. Nonetheless, the international community should not write this off or ignore it—no matter how “outlandish” these Iranian weapons concepts may be.
The small Iranian air-defense boat is first-of-its-kind and is speculated to be named Zulfiqar class. Sutton explained in his blog that the circulating name needs to be verified, as the IRGC already has other existing equipment bearing the same name. Regardless, the OSINT expert believes the boat has short-range surface-to-air missiles (SAM) as its main armament, looking more like a sea-mobile Soviet Tor air-defense missile system.
“Think of it as a sea-mobile Tor system rather than an micro AEGIS destroyer though,” Sutton wrote, adding that the small vessel could also provide short-range air defense for a swarm of other boats, possibly capable of deterring helicopter assaults.