The Islamic Republic of Iran Navy has been equipped with two new domestically-built light Ghadir-class submarines to further expand its capability to defend territorial waters, the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari has said.
The delivery is also intended to improve and bolster Iran's military maritime defence capability amidst rising tensions with the West over its nuclear programme.
Habibollah Sayyari added that the two new submarines are capable of simultaneously firing missiles and torpedoes, and will be deployed within the shallow waters of the Persian Gulf.
The Ghadir-class submarines are equipped with sonar-evading technology, can remain hidden from advanced radars, swift detection and location vessels and are designed for coastal operations in shallow waters, especially in the Gulf.
The 29m-long and 2.75m-wide diesel-electric propelled submarine has a displacement capacity of 120t when submerged, can cruise at a maximum speed of 11kts and is capable of firing the Hoot supercavitating rocket torpedoes.
Claimed to be designed and produced by Iranian experts, the country began manufacturing its domestic Ghadir submarine in 2005 and it was first unveiled in 2007.
In November 2011, the nation inducted three submarines belonging to the same class into its naval fleet.
Iran does not disclose the total number of submarines in its naval fleet, however, it is believed that it comprises of 12 light and three Russian-made submarines, as reported by The Associated Press.
The country has been developing its own tanks, armoured personnel carriers, missiles and fighter planes as a part of an arms development programme initiative since 1992.