Iran’s IRGC and Russian Spetsnaz use German underwater scooters
WASHINGTON, US — One way or another, Western military equipment appears in both Iran and Russia. While Russia is under severe Western economic sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine, Iran no longer has a crippling military embargo, but the West is not selling out on the Middle Eastern country. However, Western military systems can still be seen. Of course, we have no way of knowing when they are delivered and in what way. We can only guess.
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- Iranian warships near the Australia’s exclusive economic zone
Independent defense analyst and author Mr. Sutton reveals something curious on his blog. Mr. Sutton shared a photo of an Iranian submarine. Directly next to it, with a red arrow, the author has indicated a curious object. According to Mr. Sutton, it is a German underwater scooter known as Bonex.
It is not clear when the photo was taken. Mr. Sutton says an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] parade was held in Bandar Abbas recently. Although the date and location of the photo are not directly mentioned, it is implied that this photo is from around then. Mr. Sutton says that during the parade Iran displayed quite a bit of military equipment. The author mentions the Zulfiqar-class fast air defense boat, calling it “unique”.
According to the author, in addition to Iran, the German Bonex underwater scooter is also in service with the Russian Spetsnaz special forces. Judging by the photo shared on Mr. Sutton’s personal blog, and as he shares, the Bonex mounted on a military scabbard suggests this is not a civilian purchase.
About Bonex DPV
Bonex underwater scooters, also called diver propulsion vehicles [DPVs], are produced in the famous German province of Bavaria. In addition to military use, scooters are also used for civilian purposes, such as sport diving or technological diving.
According to the manufacturer, Bonex is an excellent tool for deep diving as well as diving in underwater caves. The scooter does not weigh much, say Bonex, and the battery is of high quality and durable. The underwater scooter can help the diver not only to move forward quickly but also to transport diving equipment.
Bonex has developed a total of six scooter models. It is not clear from the picture shared by Mr. Sutton which model they have in Iran. It should be noted that pattern recognition is difficult as all six patterns have very small visible differences between them.
Bonex scooters have dimensions between Ø 218 and Ø 300 mm. The weight of the scooters varies from 15 kg to 40 kg. As for the operational depth of the scooters, they can dive from 120 meters to 200 meters. The battery can last up to 310 minutes at the scooter’s maximum speed, but this only applies to the largest model. The maximum speed reaches from 60 m/min to 90 m/min.
Some of the Bonex models can only work with one battery. However, some work with either two or four batteries. This also implies a different level of traction that the scooter can provide. Thrust varies between 220 N and 340 N.
According to German manufacturer Bonex, underwater scooters are suitable for any type of diving. I.e. diving in lakes, wreck diving, cave diving, deep sea diving, and exploration diving.
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