Iran on Saturday added a domestically-made “Sahand” stealth destroyer to its fleet and tested a medium-range ballistic missile for the first time, proving its technological advancement with respect to stealth capabiity.
It launched its first locally made destroyer in the year 2010.
"This vessel is the result of daring and creative design relying on the local technical knowledge of the Iranian Navy and has been built with stealth capabilities," Rear-Admiral Alireza Sheikhi, head of the navy shipyards that built the destroyer, told the state news agency IRNA.
The destroyer can sustain voyages lasting five months without resupply and has a flight deck for helicopters, torpedo launchers, anti-aircraft and anti-ship guns, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles and electronic warfare capabilities, state television reported.
The has, however, attracted a lot of criticism for its test-firing ballistic missiles. The United States has several times imposed sanctions on Iran over the tests, saying its missile tests violate UN resolutions.
“We will continue to both develop and test missiles. This is outside the framework of (nuclear) negotiations and part of our national security, for which we will not ask any country’s permission,” General Abolfazl Shekarchi, spokesman for Iran’s armed forces, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
Iran has repeatedly said its missile programme is purely defensive and denied that its missiles are capable of being tipped with nuclear warheads, or that it has any intent of developing nuclear weapons through uranium enrichment.