Iranian IRIS Sahand (F-74) warship sank in the Persian Gulf

The Iranian Navy recently faced a significant loss as the frigate IRIS Sahand [F-74] unexpectedly sank in the port of Bandar Abbas. Reports from Iranian sources, supported by Russian media, indicate that the cause remains unclear. 

Iranian IRIS Sahand (F-74) warship sank in the Persian Gulf
Photo credit: Top War

Sahand was docked in Bandar Abbas, a southern Iranian port on the Persian Gulf’s coast. The mysterious sinking left the frigate lying on its left side, with only portions of the starboard side and conning tower visible above the waterline. While the Iranian media have acknowledged the “incident,” they have yet to provide detailed explanations, referring to it merely as an accident. 

Notably, IRIS Sahand [F-74] is relatively new, having joined the fleet on December 1, 2018. Constructed at the Shahid Darvishi Marine Industries shipyard in Bandar Abbas, right on the Strait of Hormuz, Sahand is the third vessel in the Mowj project lineup, following its predecessors, Jamaran and Damavand.

Iranian IRIS Sahand (F-74) warship sank in the Persian Gulf
Photo credit: Top War

Historically, the IRIS Sahand [F-74] carries the legacy of the volcano it’s named after. This name previously belonged to a British-built Vosper Mk. 5 light frigate that was lost during combat with American forces in Operation Praying Mantis in 1988. Notably, the current IRIS Sahand made headlines in 2021 by completing a journey from the Persian Gulf to the Baltic Sea, where it participated in the Main Naval Parade of the Russian Navy. 

The IRIS Sahand [F-74] is an Iranian frigate from the Moudge-class, a series of warships produced domestically in Iran. It was launched in November 2012 and entered service in December 2018, proudly bearing the name of Iran’s Sahand mountain. 

Measuring about 94 meters [308 feet] in length and 11 meters (36 feet) in beam, the IRIS Sahand has a draft of approximately 3.25 meters [10.7 feet]. These dimensions allow it to perform a range of naval operations across different maritime environments.

Iranian IRIS Sahand (F-74) warship sank in the Persian Gulf
Photo credit: Top War

The IRIS Sahand’s propulsion system features four diesel engines that power the vessel, allowing it to reach speeds of up to 30 knots. This setup provides a range of about 3,700 nautical miles when cruising at 15 knots, making it a capable asset for extended missions. 

With a displacement of around 1,500 tons, the IRIS Sahand is classified as a light frigate. Despite its smaller size, it packs a punch with various advanced systems and weaponry, ensuring it remains a versatile and formidable part of the Iranian Navy. 

This frigate is outfitted with an array of systems, including radar, sonar, and electronic warfare capabilities. These systems enhance its ability to detect, track, and engage various threats effectively. Additionally, advanced communication systems enable seamless coordination with other naval units.

Iranian IRIS Sahand (F-74) warship sank in the Persian Gulf
Photo credit: Alex Guikalov

Typically, the crew of the IRIS Sahand comprises around 140 personnel, including officers, sailors, and specialized technicians responsible for operating and maintaining the ship’s diverse systems and weaponry. This crew size is designed to ensure efficient operations and readiness for various missions. 

When it comes to armaments, the IRIS Sahand is well-equipped. It boasts anti-ship missiles like the Noor and Qader, capable of striking enemy vessels over long distances. For defense against aerial threats, the frigate is armed with torpedoes, naval guns, and surface-to-air missiles. Additionally, it features close-in weapon systems [CIWS] for point defense against incoming missiles and aircraft.

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