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Iran to deploy warships to Atlantic: media

January 06, 2019

TEHRAN: Iran is to deploy its newest warship to the Atlantic Ocean on a five-month mission -- the navy´s longest in a decade, the conservative Fars news agency reported on Saturday.

"The navy has had a plan to deploy a flotilla to the Atlantic Ocean for a few years and now everything seems prepared to launch the mission," said Fars, which is considered close to Iran's military. Rear Admiral Touraj Hassani-Moghadam told the official IRNA news agency on Friday that the mission would start early in the next Iranian year, which begins in late March.

The flotilla will comprise the new guided missile frigate destroyer escort Sahand, which was unveiled just last month, and the recently upgraded 33,000-ton fuel ship Kharg.

The vessels are expected to dock in a friendly Latin American country such as Venezuela, Fars said. The ships are among Iran's largest and both are capable of carrying helicopters. The Sahand is a more advanced version of the Iranian-built Jamaran class which went into service over the past decade.

It is a radar-evading stealth ship capable of electronic warfare, Rear-Admiral Alireza Sheikhi told IRNA last month.