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Iran Claims New Frigate Undergoing Sea Trials with Armed UAVs

Iranian Navy Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari

Iranian Navy Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari

Iran has begun sea trails of its latest domestically built Mowj-class frigate armed with reconnaissance and attack unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), according local press reports.

The 1,400 ton frigate is undergoing sea trials ahead of planned deployments in the Caspian Sea, Iranian Navy Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari said in an address to navy commanders at a base in Bandar Anzali on Tuesday.

The frigate, believed to be have been launched in 2013 with the name Velayet, has also been called Jaraman 2 and most recently Damavand.

“We have been using sea-based UAV technology in the navy and now have managed to equip Damavand destroyer which is undergoing final tests, with reconnaissance and combat UAVs,” Sayyari claimed to the government controlled Tasnim news agency.

Earlier this year, he said the frigate (which the Iranians call a destroyer) would also be armed with cruise missiles, but gave no specifics.

Sayyari also provided no specifics on the UAVs to be tested on the ship. Government statements on Iranian military capability have often proved to be exaggerated.

The new ship is based off of the 1960s era British designed Alvand-class frigates built for the pre-revolutionary Iranian government.

Iranian Navy frigate Jamaran. Iranian Navy Photo

Iranian Navy frigate Jamaran. Iranian Navy Photo

Lead ship Jamaran was launched in 2007 and has been in service in the Persian Gulf since 2010, according to Naval Institute’s Guide to Combat Fleets of the World.

The ships are designed to be multi-mission combatants with anti-submarine, anti-surface and anti-air capability.

“Imagery from the launch suggests the most significant difference between first-of-class Jamaran and Damavand is that the latter uses a new planar array air search radar,” according to a Thursday report in Jane’s Defence Weekly.

The ships are armed with the Iranian copies of the Chinese C-802 Noor anti-ship missile and a copy of the U.S. Standard Missile (SM) 1 called the Fajr.

Sayyari did not give an estimated date for the operational readiness of Damavand beyond, “the near future.”

  • Ctrot


  • Secundius

    I wonder if they used Visa or Matercard at Hobby Lobby too buy there UAV’s.

  • Sam Riddle

    I’m sure the USN is really, really intimidated by this frigate! Our 30 year old Perry Class Frigate is more intimidating than this…

    • Secundius

      @ Sam Riddle.

      I found it interesting when the Philippines refused to take delivery of some OLIVER HAZARD PERRY class Guided-Missile Frigates Because they weren’t DIESEL powered! Are PN trying to tell us, that it never occurred to them to Remove the Gas-Turbines and Replace them DIESELS! I mean, their going to reconfigure the ship’s to met their need anyway, How much more difficult or time consuming could it be to do a Engineering Machinery swap at the same time, I’m assuming that the PN do have drydock capabilities.

  • Secundius

    I don’t no, but 1,400-tons seem a little light for a Frigate class. A Corvette class, more likely then not. Maybe the Iranian mindset is you give a higher classification, the more respect you get from other Navies, and neighboring countries.

  • Andy Bradshaw

    Hey Secundius-spellcheck once in a while. Their frigates are small, with limited capability.Their UAV’s may be armed, but with AT-level missiles,not ASM’s- nothing very dangerous to a western “Frigate”. This reminds me of reading releases from the Russians in the 70’s and 80’s.”Our wonderful ships, built in the people’s shipyard, will purge the seas of the capitalist pig Navy”. Uh yuup. How’s that working for you, Ivan? Iran has to appear strong right now with involvement in so many nearby countries, and ISIS to contend with.

    • Secundius

      @ Andy Bradshaw.

      You must be NEW to the USNI News Forum Group. Bit of Advice, NOBODY here can SPELL for CHIT, even if their LIVE’S depended ON IT…

  • Secundius

    I wonder if this falls into the same category as those “Green Screen” Long-Range Missile, Iran had a couple of years ago.

  • EdwardInFlorida

    Anyone can make fun of Iran all day long but unless you put up, you have to shut up. If the Iranians didn’t have credible, deterrent military capabilities, the country would have been attacked more than 10 years ago. Did Washington “dance” around doing that to Iraq, Afghanistan or even Libya that long? Or did it do it? Actions speak louder than words, Get over yourselves!

  • Secundius

    You know, I find it interesting that the Iranians can build all these Weapon Systems. And yet can’t Reverse Engineer an Grumman F-14A Tomcat, to Manufacture the Parts to keep them Flying. Interesting, isn’t it…

  • John B. Morgen

    This frigate or sloop is not much of a threat to our naval forces, although it should not be ignore if encounter at sea……