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Iran has recently announced its intention to equip naval assets with long-range cruise missiles and extend naval patrol capabilities to include the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, and the Red Sea.

State-sponsored media outlet Tasnim News reported that Iran’s Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri announced the addition of the domestically-produced ‘Qadr-474’ cruise missile, with a range of 2,000 km, to its naval arsenal.

The recently installed long-range cruise missiles are reportedly being fitted onto two ship classes – the Mahdavi and Soleimani. These vessels can accommodate an array of missiles with ranges spanning from 200 to 2,000 km. IRGC is expected to receive missiles named in honor of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the former head of Kataib Hezbollah who was assassinated alongside ex-IRGC Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani in a 2020 US drone strike. As part of its ongoing naval expansion, Iran also claims to be constructing additional Soleimani-class ships, equipped with missiles with ranges of 300 and 750 km.

Iran’s naval ship “Shahid Mahdavi”

Iran’s naval ship “Qasem Soleimani”

Iran claims that the newly added missiles to its naval fleet share similar capabilities with cruise missiles from other nations. Due to economic sanctions, Iran must domestically develop its weapons, which often lack the sophistication of their foreign counterparts. Despite this, Iran maintains that its missiles are equipped with infrared seekers, radar guidance, and other features designed to evade electronic warfare countermeasures.

This comes as Iran has made concerted efforts to project its naval power, marked by repeated incidents of tanker harassment and seizures, and attempts to forge alliances with foreign navies, such as Russia and China. The expanded patrol capabilities, enabling its ships to traverse a larger area, underscore Iran’s ambition to extend its maritime reach, reflecting in its recent long-range missions to destinations including Russia and South America.


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