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14 February 2024

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Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is claiming a historic first with the test firing of two ballistic missiles from the deck of a former commercial ship turned warship in the Gulf of Oman.

The IRGC reported the successful launch of two ballistic missiles from the SHAHID MAHDAVI. These missiles have the capability to reach targets up to 1,000 kilometers away. “The firing of a long-range ballistic missile from the warship was successfully carried out,” IRGC chief Hossein Salami said in a report airing on Iranian state television.

 

She was built in South Korea by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) as IRAN KERMAN of which used to call at Malta Freeport wearing black hull like the below –

Trading until January 2009 due to sanctions she was renamed as SILVER CRAFT of which used to call at Malta Freeport wearing black hull like the below –

Trading until May 2012 she was renamed again with The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL) as PERARIN. In 2022 she was renamed as SHAHID MAHDAVI and was drydocked at the ISOICO shipyard, west of Bandar Abbas since May 2022 to be converted into an expeditionary base.

IRGCN Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri described her as a multi-purpose long-range vessel that is fitted with a phased array radar and an advanced communications system. She can carry 41 tonnes of cargo that can include helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), fast attack craft, long-range cruise missiles, and air-defence systems. He added that the 240 m-long ship has an endurance of 18,000 n mile and a top speed of 18 kt.

She can carry two Mi-17 helicopters, various UAV types, four anti-ship missiles behind her superstructure on her starboard side, and two small fast attack boats on the port side. The boats can presumably be launched and recovered using the cranes at the rear of the superstructure. The ship is armed with four twin 23 mm anti-aircraft guns and several heavy machine guns. A phased-array radar could not be seen, but she has two antennas for commercial marine radars and two satellite communications domes.

Video of the missile launch has been shared online:

 

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