Iran builds new 'intel ship' dubbed Shiraz - analysis

Shiraz is the size of a destroyer and has a “wide range” of electronic warfare abilities.

A boat of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) sails, at undisclosed place off the coast of Bandar Abbas, Iran August 22, 2019. (photo credit: NAZANIN TABATABAEE/WANA VIA REUTERS)
A boat of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) sails, at undisclosed place off the coast of Bandar Abbas, Iran August 22, 2019.
(photo credit: NAZANIN TABATABAEE/WANA VIA REUTERS)

Iran is preparing to launch a new ship for its navy. The ship is called the Shiraz according to reports and it is supposed to be an intelligence-gathering ship that will also be equipped with a helicopter and radar. Iran’s navy has had many problems recently, with one large ship that caught fire and other accidents.

In the last year, Iran’s navy has attempted more joint drills with foreign navies, such as Russia and China, and sent ships around Africa to sail all the way to Russia. Iran’s navy is not the only naval force Iran has. The country also has a separate Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps navy that consists of hundreds of fast boats. Iran has also launched numerous new fast boats for the IRGC recently. Iran’s IRGC has conducted operations as far as the Red Sea.

IRGC siezes ship near Bu Musa Island, Iran (credit: Wikimedia Commons)IRGC siezes ship near Bu Musa Island, Iran (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The new ship, called Shiraz, is the size of a destroyer and has a “wide range” of electronic warfare abilities, Iran’s media said this week. Iran claims it has developed these capabilities locally. Iran is under sanctions and has difficulty developing large advanced warfare platforms, like tanks and planes. Instead, it refits ships and builds drones. According to the report, the intelligence vessel will join the navy after completing the technical and operational needs that befit a naval ship prior to launch.