Iran Develops World’s First Air Defense Small Boat

  • Bureau
  • 08:14 AM, March 10, 2023
  • 1255
Iran Develops World’s First Air Defense Small Boat
Zulfiqar air defense boat @via HI Sutton

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.

Iran Develops World’s First Air Defense Small Boat
Zulfiqar boat firing missile @via HI Sutton

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.

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