Admiral Shahram Irani, Commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN), announced that the future addition to the Navy fleet, the Mowj-class frigate Damavand 2 destroyer (an advanced type of Jamaran destroyer), will be equipped with both defensive and offensive missiles, including hypersonic missiles. He further emphasized that all defense equipment installed on the Damavand 2 is the latest detection, identification, and engagement achievement. The destroyer will be deployed to the Caspian Sea.
According to Manouchehr Alipour, an advisor to the Iranian defense minister in marine industries and the deputy head of the Marine Industries Organization (MIO), Iran’s experts have gained expertise in designing and manufacturing destroyers. Alipour stated that it took 12 years to build the first Jamaran-class destroyer, followed by eight years for the Damavand-1 and six years for Dena. However, they aim to reduce the delivery time for the Damavand-2 significantly. The initial hull of Damavand-2 was manufactured in 4 years, but the overall process only took 11 months.
The Caspian Sea is a landlocked sea between Eastern Europe and Western Asia and is a geo-strategically important body of water that borders Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan. The Caspian Sea is strategically important for Iran for several reasons. First, it provides Iran with access to Central Asia and Russia. Second, it is a source of oil and gas for Iran. Third, it is a major shipping route for Iran. Iran has been increasing its military presence in the Caspian Sea in recent years. IRIN has used its Caspian Sea fleet to conduct exercises in the area and intercept ships it suspects carrying contraband.
This move by Iran is viewed as a part of an overall strategy to assert its regional dominance, counter the influence of the United States and its allies, and serve as a deterrent to Azerbaijan, particularly in light of the recent improvement in relations between Azerbaijan and Israel.
Besides its strategic significance, Iran values the Caspian Sea for its potential to enhance military cooperation with Russia, particularly in light of the Ukraine war. The Caspian Sea offers a discreet route for Iran to transport weapons systems, including drones, to Russia.
Overall, the deployment of the Damavand destroyer to the Caspian Sea shows Iran’s growing military power and its desire to expand its strategic influence and power projection in Central Asia.
Iran Dossier Iran Asserts Dominance in Caspian Sea with New Destroyer