Iran's channel 1 aired a report about the IRGC commissioning new naval vessels on February 15, 2021. According to the report, the IRGC received hundreds of vessels and attack and suicide drones. Among the vessels received by the IRGC are speedboats that can fire light cruise missiles, boats that can launch torpedoes, and boats that can carry attack and suicide drones. According to the report, the Zolfaghar amphibious vessel has torpedo launching capabilities that can be used against aircraft carriers, oil rigs, and loading docks.
Narrator: "It is 2020-2021, the general area of Bandar Abbas in the Persian Gulf. The IRGC navy is witnessing the fourth phase of the commissioning of its special vessels. The first phase was in June 2020. The second phase was in October, and then, in the winter, [vessels] have been delivered to the IRGC in two phases. Over 450 vessels and 200 attack drones have been commissioned. They were all built by the young Iranian experts. Mohajer-6 reconnaissance and attack drones, Ababil-class reconnaissance and suicide drones, vertically-flying Sepher, Shahab-2 and Hodhod-4 models – all of these form an astonishing attack force in the Persian Gulf.
"Among the vessels recently commissioned by the IRGC navy, one can see a missile boat that from the outside – especially the design of its hull – is very reminiscent of the Seraj speedboat. The Seraj vessel is an entirely Iranian replica of the famous Bladerunner model, which is known to be one of the fastest vessels in the world. It was built many years ago, with a 90 knot speed. Iran has obtained this technology, and it designed and built its own military models. But this new vessel is even scarier than in the past. It is a speedboat that reaches over 100 kilometers per hour, and cannot be intercepted by big trans-regional battleships.
"What if this vessel had the ability to fire missiles? In this vessel, two magazines for cruise missiles were installed. Considering the launch measurements, we are talking about Kowsar or Nasr missiles. These two models of light cruise missiles are equipped with navigation and guidance systems that are based on radar, optics, and heat, and are suitable for so-called 'hit and run' missions in the shallow waters of the Persian Gulf. With the addition of two missiles, and the removal of its rocket launcher and heavy machine gun, the weight of this vessel will increase a little and its speed will somewhat decrease, but still, it can be stated with almost certainty that this vessel can reach 100 kilometers per hour. The IRGC speedboats had the ability to carry and launch cruise missiles even before, but this new vessel will probably be the fastest missile-launching vessel, not only in the IRGC and Iran but also worldwide.
"In 2015, during an important official exhibition of the armed forces, the unique Zolfaghar vessel of the IRGC navy was unveiled. This amphibious vessel can move underwater, as well as above surface. This is an amazing capability in the Persian Gulf, where an object that moves one meter underwater or above surface avoids radar detection. This is a unique characteristic of the Persian Gulf. The velocity of this torpedo-launching vessel above the water surface is 74 kph. But the capabilities of this vessel go beyond that. The Zolfaghar can launch torpedoes. Members of the military know that torpedoes can be launched easily and are almost impossible to evade. Therefore, a vessel that can move that fast, drop a torpedo near warships, and flee, constitutes a horrible nightmare.
"The torpedo used in this vessel is called Torpedo 324, and it is designed to be used against aircraft carriers, oil rigs, and docks for loading and unloading cargo. In 2020-21, the capabilities of the Zolfaghar were updated. With this vessel becoming operational, another important piece of the IRGC doctrine of asymmetrical warfare and hit-and-run operations in the Persian Gulf will be completed.
"During the commissioning ceremony of these IRGC navy drones, we witnessed the unveiling of a speedboat on which the Ababil-2 drone was installed. Ababil is a low-wing aircraft.
"In a conceivable scenario, several such drones with reconnaissance or suicide capabilities fly towards their targets. Using data collected by these drones, the coordinates for the missile units can be prepared, and if these drones are equipped with warheads, they can be used against moving targets. Perhaps the warhead and the quantity of explosives carried by these drones will not be enough to sink heavy vessels, but they can cause damage to the enemy's vessels, and they can keep the defense systems of the enemy ships busy, and pave the way for anti-ship missiles with larger destructive power.
"Prior to that, the IRGC unveiled the Shahid Roudaki amphibious vessel. Having watched many pictures taken onboard that vessel, we can say that it has a launcher with eight anti-ship cruise missile magazines, from the Noor or Ghadir series. A picture of the launcher reinforces the possibility that we are facing missiles of the Ghadir series, with a range of 300 kilometers. Currently, this ship – while relying on the navy's special attack systems – can advance into deep ocean and it has a special maneuvering capability: Missile range of 300 kilometers and a Khordad-3 air-defense system. This is an unconventional combination for a vessel."