New frigate joins Iran’s Caspian naval force

Photo: Tasnim News Agency

Regular long-range deployments by its Persian Gulf-based warships ensure that the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN) maintains a relatively high profile.

Less well-known, however, are the operations of the service’s small Northern Fleet, which operates in the Caspian Sea.

This fleet was very recently augmented by Daylaman, a newbuild, diesel-powered 26-knot frigate constructed at Bandar Anzali. Like earlier indigenously-built IRIN frigates, the design of the 1,500-tonne ship is based on that of IRIN’s long-serving UK-built Alvand-class, the key differences being a considerably changed profile, twin funnels, and a mast-mounted Eagle Eye phased array radar. This new Iranian-built sensor can reputedly acquire and track targets at ranges out to 200 kilometres.

As with most Iranian warships, it is heavily armed for its size. Armament includes Mehrab air defence and Ghader anti-shipping missiles, a Nawab close-in air defence system, a 76mm gun, and anti-submarine torpedo tubes. It has an aft flight deck to facilitate operations by an AB 214 helicopter.

There is no doubt Tehran’s naval rivals in the Caspian Sea, namely, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan will be keeping a wary eye on this latest IRIN asset.

Trevor Hollingsbee

Trevor Hollingsbee was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and Senior Superintendent with the Hong Kong Marine Police. He is Baird Maritime's resident maritime security expert and columnist.