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Rising tensions between Tehran and Washington in the Gulf’s vital oil shipping route, brings Iran to announce that it will upgrade its speed boats with radar-evading stealth technology and new missile launchers.
“We are trying to increase the agility of the Guards’ speed boats and equip them with stealth technology to facilitate their operations,” Alireza Tangsiri, the Revolutionary Guards’ navy chief said, according to businessinsider.com.
Tangsiri also said the speed boats will be equipped with new missiles, and their speed will reach 80 knots per hour. He did not elaborate on whether Iran had already mastered these technologies or if they were still in the study phase.
Iran says it has been developing its own stealth technology for fighter jets and vessels, but the prototypes it has unveiled in recent years have mostly been met with derision by defense experts.
The Revolutionary Guards last week launched war games in the Gulf, where third of the world’s sea-borne oil passes through, and warned that its forces were ready to respond to any hostile US action.
Ending a long absence of US aircraft carriers in the region, the USS John C. Stennis entered the Gulf last week and was shadowed by the Revolutionary Guards’ speed boats.
A US-Iranian war of words has escalated since US President Donald Trump took Washington out of a world powers’ nuclear deal with Iran in May and reimposed sanctions on its banking and energy sectors.
Iran has warned that if it cannot sell its oil due to US pressure, then no other regional country will be allowed to do so either, threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf.
The Guards’ naval arm lacks a strong conventional fleet. However, it has many speed boats and portable anti-ship missile launchers, and can lay mines.