Iran Sets Third Domestically-produced Warship to Sea

The Sahand, which Tehran released into Gulf waters Saturday, boasts of improvements from previous models such as ship-to-land and ship-to-air rockets

The new Iranian destroyer Sahand sails in Persian Gulf waters, in Bandar Abbas, Iran, in a photo provided on Saturday, December 1, 2018.

Iran presented its third domestically produced warship, the Sahand, on Saturday, rolling it into service in Gulf waters.

It is the third ship Iran has produced in the last eight years, reported the Fars news agency. Weighing 1,400 tons and 94 metres long, it is equipped with new technology that was not available during the construction of earlier models.

Along with a helicopter landing pad and modern ship-to-land and ship-to-air rockets, the Sahand also has updated radar technology. It can also stay at sea for several months without refueling.

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Iran's drive for conventional weapons has raised concern in the region, especially because of its involvement in conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

Its push for missile systems was one of the reasons it remained under sanctions even after it agreed on an international deal to limit its nuclear programme, a deal which has since been revoked by the US.

Tehran insists its focus on military upgrades is purely for defensive reasons.