03:03 GMT24 July 2021
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    Tehran has been upgrading its domestic defence industry over the last several years since the country ended up cut off from foreign military sales due to a UN ban. The latter expired last year, but Iran says it has no intention of stopping the process of upgrading domestically made armaments.

    The Iranian Navy has greeted new reinforcements, inducting a frigate called Dena and a minesweeper named Shahin. The transfer of the newly produced warships to the navy was ordered by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and overseen by the country's top military commanders on 14 June. Dena and Shahin joined the fleet stationed at the port city of Bandar Abbas in southern Iran.

    Dena is the fourth Moudge-class frigate that Iran has built at home. Three other ships were commissioned between 2010 and 2018. Moudge-class ships can fill various roles because they are equipped with armaments capable of hitting targets in the air, on the ground, and at sea. Additionally, Dena has a helicopter landing pad on its deck.

    These vessels are also prepared for long journeys in oceans, making it possible for Iran to use them in international patrol missions. One of Iran's Moudge-class ships, Sahand, is currently sailing through the Atlantic Ocean. Its mission remains unknown, but several media outlets reported that the US fears the Sahand and another ship accompanying it are carrying weapons for Venezuela.

    The minesweeper Shanin is also the result of extensive work by Iran's defence industry. The ship is fitted with modern equipment that allows it to detect and neutralise naval mines at great distances.

    Tehran made a significant leap in developing its domestic defence industry. The technological push was partially prompted by a UN ban on weapons trade with Iran, which used to buy most of its armaments abroad. While the ban expired in 2020, Tehran has indicated that it plans to continue developing domestic military equipment and weapons, such as warships, air defence systems, missiles, and even fighter jets.


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    minesweeper, frigate, Military, Iran
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