The warship "Shahid Soleimani", shown at a ceremony in the port of Bandar Abbas, in the configuration of a catamaran, became the second in the Iranian fleet, but the first "invisible".
First of all, the current corvette, named after General Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by the Americans in Iraq in 2020, differs structurally from the Shahid Nazeri catamaran launched in 2016. "Shahid Nazeri" - these are two almost standard ship hulls connected by a superstructure. "Shahid Soleimani" was built at the shipyard in Bushehr using radar signature reduction technology. Moreover, the designers demonstrated the technical idea at the level of the best world samples.
The new corvette is the largest ship in the IRGC fleet. The length of its body reaches approximately 65 meters. According to the Iranian military, the corvette has excellent seaworthiness and maneuverability, and can also operate far from its bases. This dignity of his greatly disturbed American journalists, who spoke of the growing threat to the American fleet in the Red Sea.
There is no information about the corvette's power-to-weight ratio, so nothing concrete can be said about the developed speed and range yet. But more is known about weapons. The Shahid Soleimani corvette has vertical launch silos. The four slots are for large Noor anti-ship missiles with a range of 120 kilometers, and Ghader missiles with a range of more than 200 kilometers. Two launchers for Nasr cruise missiles with a range of 35 kilometers or a longer range Nasir.
Also on both sides of the superstructure, additional large mines are visible, covered with covers, which may indicate the presence of additional missile or torpedo weapons. Experts do not rule out that the Sayyad anti-aircraft missile system, which can hit at a distance of up to 200 kilometers, may be located there.
A 30 mm automatic gun with an electro-optical sight for fire control is installed in the nose turret. Launchers are placed on the sides of the tower for setting false thermal targets. The corvette also has four 20mm triple-barreled cannons very similar to the American M197s used on Iranian AH-1J helicopter gunships.
There is a helipad on the deck. During the demonstration, a Bell-412 helicopter landed on it. But Iranian media reports that it is also supposed to launch unmanned aerial systems for various purposes from it. The ability to launch and control drones from ships and submarines was recently demonstrated by the Iranian Navy during the introduction of a new division of drones.
According to the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, the corvette's systems are controlled by Iranian-designed computer programs. The corvette is able to detect various types of targets and select the weapons needed to destroy them from the ship's arsenal. Shahid Soleimani has modern communication and telecommunications equipment, various types of devices that encode data transmission.