In a ceremony held to induct over a 100 missile-launching speed boats to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp’s Navy (IRGC-N), a vessel that appeared to be a large Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) made its first public appearance.
“Did Iran just show us an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) prototype? Among the 112 small boats/craft received by IRCN today, this oddity was shown – an unidentified apparent submersible/submarine,” Joseph H Dempsey, Research Associate for Defense & Military Analysis at IISS, tweeted May 29.
The mystery vessel could either be a mini-submarine or a large UUV, with many experts leaning to prefer the latter.
The vessel appears to be smaller in size than the Iranian Navy’s Ghadir-class mini-submarines, and has no apparent crew access. Sail (starboard casing removed) has sensor masts and possible diesel engine snorkel, the expert noted.
Ghadir submarines are capable of launching subsurface-to-surface missiles, torpedoes and mines. First two boats joined Iran’s Navy in November 2018.
“Also note the [temporary] crew position complete with joystick for initial surface trials,” Dempsey added.
The other military equipment commissioned to IRGN-C service include missile and rocket armed fast attack craft (FACs), speed boats and underwater chariots for commando frogmen, and small wings-in-ground-effect aircraft.