- (Photo: Reuters/Caren Firouz)
The Iranian military reportedly launched a domestically built destroyer in the Caspian Sea on Sunday and dispatched the warship to patrol the waters in the region.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended the ceremony in the port city of Anzali about 150 miles west of Tehran, which saw the guided missile destroyer Jamaran-2 become the first in a new series of warships to be launched.
"The destroyer is there to meet those who want to jeopardize the security of surrounding nations," Ahmadinejad told spectators, according to state media.
The destroyer comes in at around 1,400 tons and includes a helicopter landing pad, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles and a host of advanced radar and communications capabilities.
There has been long-standing disputes regarding ownership of the Caspian Sea with Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan all involved over which county gets to control the inland sea.
This is the second big announcement from the Iranian military several weeks after top military officials unveiled a new stealth fighter the country had developed.
Ahmadinejad recently posed for pictures next to the Qaher F313 aircraft in a sparsely decorated bunker pilot to admire the new aircraft in what he described as "among the most advanced fighter jets in the world."
However, aviation experts took taking a closer look at the pictures and came to the conclusion that the jet fighter is a fake due to various shortcomings found in the published photograph.
Experts have stated that the dimensions of the aircraft look to small and would not be able to accommodate a pilot in flight. They were also wary of the instrument panel and actual cockpit, which look to have been fitted outside of the fuselage.
"It looks like the Iranians dumped some rudimentary flight controls and an ejection seat into a shell molded in what they thought were stealthy angles," Andrew Davies, senior defense analyst and director of research at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told Fairfax Media.
Iranian state television broadcast the president's visit to the planes undisclosed location, but did not provide a demonstration of its flying capability. State media did, however, provide pictures of the aircraft reportedly in flight, but those photographs were thought to have been altered or that a smaller, remote controlled model was photographed instead.