Key point: Under an arms embargo, Iran is desperate for modern military equipment.
The Iranian navy added a brand new, domestically-made stealth destroyer to its fleet on Saturday, Reuters reports, deploying the warship and its purported radar-evading systems to join rest of the country’s regular navy at the mouth of the strategically-crucial Strait of Hormuz in yet another challenge to the U.S. Navy.
The new Sahand destroyer, the first in a new family of Iranian warships, was “the result of daring and creative design relying on the local technical knowledge of the Iranian Navy… and has been built with stealth capabilities,” Iranian navy shipyard chief Rear-Admiral Alireza Sheikhi told state TV.
State TV also claimed destroyer comes outfitted with a “flight deck for helicopters, torpedo launchers, anti-aircraft and anti-ship guns, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, and electronic warfare capabilities,” per Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
The unveiling of the destroyer represents the latest technological challenge to the U.S. Navy vessels operating in the region. In October, the Iranian military claimed it had boosted the range of its land-to-sea ballistic missiles up to 700 km (435 miles), capable of hitting “any vessel or ship” at that range.