Iranian Navy is planning to start the construction of a destroyer with a displacement of almost 6,000 tonnes already in 2020, the head of the Iranian Defence Ministry’s Marine Industries Organisation said on Friday in an interview with the state-run Mehr news agency. This destroyer will ensure Iran’s strategic presence in international waters. Since 2015, the Iranian military has greatly increased the size of their naval forces, with the incorporation of several small patrol boats that are often used by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Forces (IRGC) in the Strait of Hormuz waters.
The 6,000-ton destroyer Loghman (Persian Gulf) class will be a trimaran, meaning that it has three hulls. This seems unlikely however given the size. That design resembled the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The new design will be closer in size to the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke class AEGIS destroyer. It is likely to be equipped with phased array radars and surface to air missiles in vertical launchers. ut Iran has a history of reporting ambitious defense projects that ultimately do not materialize, many of those projects may be intended for internal propaganda.
Iranian Navy has already built a serious of Moudge class ‘destroyers.’ These are only 1,500-2,000 tons, which equates to light frigates by international standards. The type has lacked effective air defenses, something which the Iranian Navy is reportedly addressing. This destroyer will extend the capabilities of Iranian Navy for longer operations in the seas with very special defensive and offensive capabilities. Whether Iran can realize these plans given its economic challenges remains to be seen.