Iranian Navy Warship Sahand Capsizes and Sinks

World Defense

 Iranian Navy Warship Sahand Capsizes and Sinks

On July 7, 2024, the Iranian Navy faced another maritime disaster as the IRIS Sahand, one of its most modern frigates, capsized and sank at its home port in Bandar Abbas. This 12-year-old vessel, which was among the most advanced in Iran's naval fleet, was seen tilted onto its port side with only parts of its hull and sonar dome visible above the water.

The incident is currently attributed to a technical failure during maintenance, though poor maintenance, a docking mishap, or even sabotage have not been ruled out. This mishap adds to a troubling history of serious accidents within the Iranian Navy. For instance, Sahand's sister ship, the Damavand, sank in 2018 after running aground, and the Kharg, Iran's largest warship at the time, caught fire and sank in 2021.

The Sahand was an upgraded version of the British-designed Vosper Mark 5, a class initially supplied to Iran before the revolution. It was part of the Moudge-class frigates, which featured modern improvements such as a sloped hull for stealth and advanced weaponry. The ship boasted a range of armaments, including surface-to-air and anti-ship missiles, and was equipped with a helicopter for anti-submarine warfare.

Despite its advanced design and capabilities, the Sahand's sinking is a significant blow to the Iranian Navy, especially given its recent history of naval accidents. The frigate had been active in strategic regions like the Red Sea, where it was suspected of supporting Houthi forces against merchant ships, reflecting Iran's broader geopolitical engagements.

This series of unfortunate events underscores the challenges faced by the Iranian Navy, from maintenance issues to operational hazards. Each incident not only represents a loss of valuable naval assets but also raises questions about the effectiveness and safety protocols of Iran's maritime forces. 

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