Iran’s Navy has built a single unit of a Zulfiqar-class small-sized boat, the world’s first such kind specifically meant for air defense.
This new boat is not to be confused with other Iranian types that are also called Zulfiqar-class. It comes armed with short-range surface-to-air missiles, reports HI Sutton.
Only one of this type of boat has been noted so it is unclear whether it will be widely deployed.
This boat could provide short-range air defense for a swarm of other boats.
Small boats are vulnerable to air attack and although some carry MANPADS, this is the first with a proper SAM system. There is a large radome over the cabin and a Vertical Launch System (VLS) behind it. The VLS is consistent with the Nawab short-range air defense missile which has a range of 15 km. This is roughly similar to, but distinct from, the SA-15 GAUNTLET (Tor) system which Iran acquired from Russia, the report said.
The boat’s hull form appears to be derived from the British designed Bladerunner, which Iran acquired previously.