Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) very recently commissioned a 150-metre special operations support ship.
The ship, Shahid Roudaki, which has been identified by Israeli sources as being the former Italian-built Ro-Ro ship Galaxy F, is the largest vessel ever to be commissioned into the IRGCN. It could, potentially, extend significantly the range, and duration, of the asymmetrical operations which are carried out by IRGCN missile, torpedo, rocket and cannon-armed fast attack craft.
The ship was displayed at Bandar Abbas naval base. A range of equipment visible on board included rocket-armed fast attack craft, Qader anti-shipping cruise missiles, Khordad air defence missiles and Abibil 2 drones, as well as a number of military vehicles.
Shahid Roudaki is only fitted with a light self-defence armament of a 23-millimetre cannon, and a number of machine guns. Analysts therefore believe the ship itself is not intended to go in harm’s way, but is probably based on the contemporary US naval concept of Expeditionary Mobile Base ships, which provide basing facilities and operational support for combatant vessels and helicopters while staying well back from the front line.
Maritime security expert and columnist, Trevor Hollingsbee was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Senior Superintendent with the Hong Kong Marine Police, Assistant Secretary for Security in the British Hong Kong Government Security Branch, and Intelligence Analyst in the UK Ministry of Defence. As an independent defence and security analyst he has had some 1,500 articles on maritime security, and geopolitical topics, published in a range of international journals and newspapers. He is an Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute, and a past Vice-Chairman of the Institute’s Hong Kong branch.