Iran Unveils Stealth Speedboats 

The IRGC displays speedboats it alleges have stealth capability.

The IRGC displays speedboats it alleges have stealth capability.

“Our Navy is a complete strategic force.” 

The excerpted article from Serat News, an outlet associated with the state-run, hardline Kayhan newspaper, reports on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Navy (IRGC-N)’s unveiling of new, supposed stealth speedboats at the Malik Ashtar festival held just outside Iran’s main Persian Gulf port Bandar Abbas. The IRGC often names exhibitions, exercises, units, and festivals after either religious figures or religious artifacts as part of an effort to imbue the Guards with a religious patina.

That the IRGC-N would mass produce speedboats is consistent with long-held tactics and strategy.  The chief lesson the IRGC learned in the wake of their clash with the U.S. Navy during Operation Praying Mantis in 1988 is that they could not confront the U.S. Navy directly given the superiority of American ships.  They then turned to small speedboats to harass slower, larger shipping.  Speedboats are cheaper and quicker to manufacture than large ships.  Should the IRGC-N load these speedboats with explosives and conduct suicide strikes against larger ships, they hope they can do enough damage both to cripple a ship and to cause enough casualties to get the American domestic audience to question the U.S. Navy’s presence in the region.  The drawback of the IRGC-N speedboats is their range.  They might be able to operate throughout the relatively narrow and shallow Persian Gulf, but they are of little value in the northern Indian Ocean or Arabian Sea.  This, alongside the IRGC’s financial interest in the security of Iran’s offshore gas and oil infrastructure, explains why the IRGC-N claims the entirety of the Persian Gulf as its area of operation while the regular Iranian Navy operates outside the Gulf.  In practice, this makes the Persian Gulf more harrowing for international shipping.  Commercial shipping, Arab militaries, and the U.S. Navy report more professional communications and de-confliction with the regular Iranian Navy than with the IRGC-N. 


“Qayeqha-ye Tondaru Sepah Radar Gariz Shod (IRGC Stealth Speedboats Evaded Radar),” Serat News (media outlet associated with the state-run hardline Kayhan newspaper), 25 July 2022. 

Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Navy [IRGC-N],said on the sidelines of the Malik Ashtar Festival that based on the orders of the Supreme Leader…we have been witnessing the festival for 12 years.  He stated that additions have been made to this [IRGC-N] force: Over the past three years, we have had eight additions.  Generally, these were of domestic equipment provided to our warriors and by God’s grace, we will witness such happy events again in the future. 

Tangsiri remarked that it was one of the honors of the Navy and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to be able to use domestic knowledge and products developed by Iranian scientists.  He continued: “We have everything from tanks to amphibious tanks to fixed-wing aircraft and drones….” Tangsiri stated, “We in the Navy are proud that our equipment is made by knowledge-based companies. Some of the drones and quadcoptors that we use are actually from our knowledge-based companies, and we have put the order of the Supreme Leader, who said to use our knowledge-based companies, intro practice. And we are proud that the Navy has done this for years.  

The commander of the IRGC-N also spoke about the new radar-evading speedboats: We have made the hulls of our boats radar evasive and we are trying to use domestically made hulls.  Emphasizing that the extent and quality of our presence in the region has caused the enemy to flee from the Persian Gulf, he said, “We have always told the countries of the region that we can establish security ourselves and, by the grace of God, with the departure of the Americans, more security has been established in this sensitive and strategic region.” 

Image Information:

Image: The IRGC displays speedboats it alleges have stealth capability  
Source: Tasnim News 
Attribution: CC SA 4.0