Iran has plans to equip the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) with light and semi-heavy domestically-developed submarines, Head of the Marine Industries Organization of the Ministry of Defense and Logistics of the Armed Forces Rear-Admiral Amir Rastegari said on Monday, according to IRNA.
Speaking to IRNA, Rastegari said that the manufacturing of these submarines will begin this year so that the IRGC will have submarines within the next few years as like as the Iranian Navy.
He said that the reliance of the Iranian armed forces on the foreign countries in the marine industry has declined from 70% to 20% today.
The Marine Industries Organization manufactures different vessels for the Navy, IRGC and the Coast Guard Police, the official said.
He said that the organization, for instance, makes rapid boats for the IRGC naval force which highly relies on rapid boats.
Rastegari noted that in order to be able to protect the country’s interests at the sea, one country will need to develop powerful naval forces.
He said that the IRGC is responsible for protecting the Persian Gulf waters up to the Strait of Hormuz, and the Iranian Navy is responsible for protecting eastern parts of the Strait of Hormuz to the Sea of Oman and the north of the Indian Ocean, while the Coast Guard Police protects the territorial waters.
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps ( IRGC )
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is a branch of the Iranian Armed Forces, founded after the Iranian Revolution on 22 April 1979 by order of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Whereas the Iranian Army defends Iranian borders and maintains internal order, according to the Iranian constitution, the Revolutionary Guard is intended to protect the country’s Islamic republic political system. The Revolutionary Guards base their role in protecting the Islamic system as well as preventing foreign interference and coups by the military or “deviant movements”
Iran has traditionally relied on submarine imports from Russia, China and North Korea. Its most advanced are the three Tareq-class diesel-electric submarines—Cold War-era Kilo-class submarines imported from Russia. However, these vessels weren’t seen for a while at sea.
Iran makes its own submarines, the semi-heavy, diesel-electric Besat-class submarine, of which one has so far been produced. Iran has also built its own smaller vessels, such as the Fateh-class diesel-electric coastal submarines, Nahang-class mini-submarines and Ghadir-class mini-submarines.
The Persian Gulf, as well as the Gulf of Oman, have been an arena of multiple incidents and attacks on commercial ships, including oil tankers, in recent years.
Any naval expansion in the Persian Gulf risks more encounters with American vessels, which routinely operate in the waterway. The Gulf carries great strategic importance, with some 25 percent of the world’s crude oil traveling through the 30 mile-wide Hormuz Strait.
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