Iran launches destroyer in the Caspian Sea

Iran launches destroyer in the Caspian Sea
Tehran has launched its second domestically built guided-missile destroyer in the Caspian Sea, Iranian state TV reported on Sunday.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was present at the launch of the Jamaran-2 destroyer in the port city of Anali, 250 kilometers northwest of the country’s capital. During the ceremony, the leader hailed the construction of the destroyer as a “great achievement” for the Islamic republic, Xinhua news agency reported.

The 1,420-ton destroyer is equipped with a 20,000-horsepower engine and can travel at a top speed of 30 knots, and has the capability to carry helicopters, different surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, advanced artillery and torpedo systems, Press TV reported.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the inauguration of the Jamaran-2 guided missile destroyer, in the port city of Anzali, about 150 miles (250 kilometers) northwest of the capital Tehran on March 17, 2013. (AFP Photo)

Jamaran-2 is set to officially join the Iranian navy's fleet within the next six months, following the completion of final testing.

The move will mark the first heavyweight Iranian military presence in the oil-rich Caspian Sea. The five surrounding countries – Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan – have not reached an agreement on exploitation of its resources.

Tehran wants all five nations to share the sea's resources equally. However, the other four nations support exploitation through mutual pacts, putting Iran's share at about 12 percent.

In February 2010, the Iranian navy launched the Jamaran-1 destroyer in the Persian Gulf – the country’s first domestically-built destroyer – equipped with modern radar and electronic warfare capabilities.

Iran's Jamaran-2 guided missile destroyer is docked during its inauguration, in the port city of Anzali. (AFP Photo)