Iran’s previous Damavand destroyer sank after striking a breakwater at Bandar Anzali, 10 January 2018.
“The process of building naval equipment will accelerate.”
On 10 January 2018, Iran’s Damavand destroyer collided with a breakwater while docking at the Caspian port of Bandar Anzali. While Iranian authorities initially denied the incident, local bloggers soon posted videos of the ship listing and sinking, reportedly killing at least three sailors. In the excerpted article from the Iranian Defense Ministry’s official news source, Holy Defense News Agency, Shahram Irani, head of the Iranian Navy, announces that the Navy would soon officially launch a new destroyer to replace the Damavand. That it has taken four years to build the new ship gives a sense of the speed of Iranian shipbuilding. Iranian Mowj (Wave) class destroyers are equipped with anti-submarine torpedoes, an assortment of surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles, and various naval guns and cannons. Because the Damavand—named for Iran’s tallest mountain—operates in the landlocked Caspian Sea, its replacement needed to be built at Bandar Anzali. Its mission is to show the flag and guard Iran’s Caspian infrastructure against Caspian littoral states—Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, all which are relatively friendly with Iran. This suggests that the political and economic need to keep shipyards busy trump military needs when the Iranian Navy decides where to spend its money. Given the fact that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps controls such shipbuilding, the construction and launch of a new destroyer for the uncontested Caspian Sea demonstrates how difficult meaningful economic reform in Iran will be.
“Anjam-e Testha-ye Nahaye Navshakan ‘Damavand’ (Performing Final Tests on the Damavand Destroyer),” Holy Defense News Agency (Iran’s Defense Ministry news outlet), 3 April 2022. https://defapress.ir/fa/news/511977
Admiral Shahram Irani, commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy, in an interview with the defense correspondent of the Holy Defense News Agency, said with regard to the latest situation of the Damavand destroyer, “The Damavand destroyer will join the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy soon and it will be a special occasion.” He stated that the Damavand destroyer is undergoing final tests, and added, “In 2022, the process of building naval equipment will accelerate, with regard to both surface and subsurface technology.”
According to the Holy Defense News Agency, the Damavand destroyer is completely indigenous and the second warship in the Mowj [Wave] class. It is more advanced than the Jamaran [the first of the Mowj class] that joined the Northern [Caspian] fleet on 9 March 2015.
Image: Iran’s previous Damavand destroyer sank after striking a breakwater at Bandar Anzali, 10 January 2018.
Source: Young Journalist Club(a subsidiary of the state-controlled Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting). https://cdn.yjc.news/files/fa/news/1398/7/19/10699419_907.jpg