The Iranian Navy is set to receive the country’s largest-ever military vessel, an indigenously-manufactured helicopter carrier outfitted to take on momentous logistical responsibilities in support of the defense force’s maritime missions.
Named after a southern Iranian coastal stretch, Makran will join the Navy’s southern fleet on Wednesday in the presence of Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri and Chief Commander of the Army Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi.
The ship will support the Navy’s missions in farther waters, such as the northern part of the Indian Ocean, the Bab al-Mandab Strait, and the Red Sea.
Such vessels have been designed to serve as a “mobile seaport,” and are, therefore, considered key infrastructural elements of any naval force.
Their flight deck serves as a mobile airbase for helicopters and gunships as well as unmanned aerial vehicles.
They can be used to carry other military vessels, including hovercrafts, into rapid response naval missions, and provide maintenance support for other Navy vessels.
Capable of sailing in tumultuous sea conditions, the helicopter carriers can also be sent on search and rescue missions and used for transporting Navy forces, equipment, fuel, and water to other vessels.
The Wednesday ceremony will also feature Zereh (Armor), a new missile destroyer that will join the southern fleet.
It has been credited with high speed and maneuverability, capabilities that would enhance its destination fleet’s defensive power.
Wednesday will also mark the beginning of naval exercises, codenamed Eqtedar-e Daryayi (Naval Strength) by the Navy.
The drills are to take place in the Sea of Oman and the northern Indian Ocean to test the naval force’s operation prowess in overseas waters. Some naval units have already fanned throughout the maritime area in preparation for the event.