Shahid Mahdavi support ship (file photo)

Shahid Mahdavi support ship

IRGC’s New Massive Ship To Support Fleet Of Small Fast Boats Against US Navy

5/27/2022

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is revamping a massive ship near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, providing the IRGC navy with a floating base to run its fleet of small fast boats designed to counter the US Navy.

Satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press on Friday indicate the completion of the construction of the Shahid Mahdavi support ship, which appears to be a retrofit of an Iranian cargo ship known as the Sarvin.

“They are looking beyond the Persian Gulf and into the blue waters of the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea and the northern Indian Ocean,” Farzin Nadimi, an associate fellow at the Washington Institute for Near-East Policy who studies the Iranian military, told AP.

The Sarvin arrived off Bandar Abbas in late July last year and then switched off its transponders. By Jan. 29, satellite photos analyzed by the AP showed the vessel at drydock at Shahid Darvishi Marine Industries, a company associated with Iran’s Defense Ministry west of Bandar Abbas.

Last Saturday, the IRGC-affiliated Fars News agency said the Guard’s navy was due to commission ‘Shahid Mahdavi’ as a forward base ship that will be among Iran’s largest vessels.

The ship was named in honor of Nader Mahdavi, one of seven IRGC personnel killed in an engagement with the United States navy in October 1987 during the Iran-Iraq war.

Aurora Intel, defense analysts, said the ship – formerly called Savin, Sarita, Dandle, Twelfth Ocean, Iran Esfahan – is a 22-year-old container vessel with a nominal capacity of 3,300 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

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