Fars News Agency – March 14, 2011
Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Naval Force Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said his forces are due to mass-produce and arm home-made Bladerunner speedboats in the next Iranian year (starting on March 21).
“The vessel will be mass-produced in 1390 (March 2011-March 2012) based on the specified timeline,” Fadavi told FNA, and further voiced satisfaction with the production trend.
The commander said Iran has already mounted different types of weapons, including missile launchers, onto the country’s speedboats, and noted that the Bladerunners, too, would be equipped with different arms due to their unique features.
The Bladerunner 51, weighing 16 tons and 15.5 meters (45 feet) long can reach a maximum speed of 65 knots
In February, Fadavi had said that the IRGC plans to boost the high mobility of its vessels in the next few months, adding that IRGC experts are working on projects to increase the speed of missile-launching and fully armed vessels to 80-85 knots.
“Increasing the speed of the vessels which carry arms and equipment to 80-85 knots sets the objective of the IRGC naval force for the next Iranian year (starts on March 21),” Fadavi said at the time, and stressed, “Limitations of high-speed vessels for carrying weapons should be removed.”
In August, Iran inaugurated the production lines for manufacturing ‘Seraj 1′ vessel and a new generation of ‘Zolfaqar’ missile launcher, both developed by the country’s experts.
Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi had earlier announced that the use of speedboats is at the heart of the Iranian Navy’s operational doctrine since high-speed vessels have already proved highly efficient in fighting back US heavyweight warships.
He further announced that Iran is now capable of manufacturing speedboats which can traverse at 60 to 70 knots per hour, yet the country is still seeking to increase the speed of these vessels to 80, 90 and even 100 knots per hour.
In August, the IRGC launched tens of its missile-launching speedboats in the Persian Gulf.
The speedboats in Zolfaqar, Tareq, Ashoura and Zoljanah classes were launched in a ceremony attended by Admiral Fadavi and a number of other high-ranking officials.
The Islamic Republic has mass-produced a large number of speedboats with rocket- launchers and other sophisticated military equipment which are able to strike a heavy blow at any foreign warship if the country comes under attack.
The IRGC had earlier announced that it is ready to deploy its submarines and combat boats to intercept vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.
The IRGC is responsible for the security of the Persian Gulf. In 2008, Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, former commander of the IRGC and the current military advisor to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, declared that the responsibility for defending the Persian Gulf had been handed over to the IRGC.
Also see: Iran Bound Powerboat Raises Fears