Military Knowledge: Shahid Soleimani Catamaran Warship

Wednesday 26 October 22 - 12:16

Shahid Soleimani warship is an Iranian multi-role catamaran missile corvette with a unique low radar cross-section which was produced on the order of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy. This warship is the first of at least three new catamaran missile corvettes of the Shahid Soleimani class, which with hull number FS313-01 was officially joined to the IRGC Navy fleet in Bandar Abbas in 5 September 2022, in the presence of Major General Mohammad Bagheri, Commander of the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces.

According to Chief Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, Commander of the IRGC Navy, three vessels of this class were being built at the same time in three different facilities of the IRGC, the Ministry of Defense and the private sector. Finally, on 14 June 2022, one of the three vessels under construction was ready to be delivered to the IRGC Navy. Two more aircraft of this class are still under construction, but exact information on the progress of the projects is not available.

In the body of Shahid Soleimani catamaran corvette, aluminum is used instead of steel, which is a newer innovation in Iran’s military shipbuilding industry. The modern design of the body in the form of a catamaran increases maneuverability and better stability in the sea and rough waters. Also, the use of aluminum alloy makes the body lighter and longer life due to less corrosion against water. This ship is powered by 4 localized and indigenous engines; Which brings its maximum range to 5000 nautical miles equivalent to 9260 km. The floating weight of Shahid Soleimani warship is 600 tons.

With this range, the Shahid Soleimani warship will increase the Iranian navy’s operational reach beyond the Persian Gulf to as far away as 9,000 km, which would cover the entire Indian Ocean down to Cape Town.

Intelligence and reconnaissance monitoring, surface and subsurface and air traffic monitoring are among the duties of this vessel. The Shahid Soleimani warship is equipped with the most advanced indigenous electronic warfare systems.

Shahid Soleimani warship is the first Iranian warship equipped with vertical launchers that can fire antiaircraft missiles up to a range of 150 km or land-attack cruise missiles up to 700 km or beyond.

There are six box launchers on both sides of the Shahid Soleimani warship which can fire antiship missiles such as the Nasr, Nasir, Ghader and Ghadir with ranges of 35 to 300 km. Four of which are Qadir or Qadir with a range of 300 km and two of which are Nasr or Nasir with a range of 90 km. According to Iran’s experiences in enhancing the weapons of warships, there is a possibility that the six box launchers in this vessel will be changed to 12 box launchers like what Iran did to Separ corvette in the Caspian Sea.

Two Ghader cruise missiles and one Nasir cruise missile

Behind the command bridge there are a number of vertical launchers silos. These silos are located in two rows of four and one row of three on both sides of the ship. The big silos are 3.4 meters long together, which means the inner diameter is about one meter. According to Major General Bagheri, at the time of unveiling, it is possible to use cruise missiles and surface-to-surface missiles up to a range of 700 km in these vertical launchers (VLS).

Vertical launchers systems (VLS) on Shahid Soleimani warship

This vessel has 16 small silos (8 on each side) for use in the air defense sector, according to Chief Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, the range of the missiles used is more than 150 km. The air defense missiles with this range will be from the Sayyad family with a diameter of less than 60 cm.

At the front of the vessel, there is a 30 mm automatic cannon with a stealth design along with a thermal camera to control it, which gives the ship the ability to engage light vessels and cruise missiles in the last stage. Two chaff and flare launch pods are installed on the sides of the main cannon to deflect anti-ship cruise missiles and disrupt the sonar. It is also possible to upgrade this cannon.

We see two types of photos of a vessel with hull number FS313-01. In the first photo, the vessel has four 12.7 mm guns. But in the second photo, it has four 20 mm three-barrel Gatling guns. According to the image of this ship on the back of General Bagheri, the model with three-barrel Gatling is the same model added to the IRGC Navy, and the other image is related to the model at the time of its sea test.

Shahid Soleimani warship during the sea test with 12.7 mm gun
Shahid Soleimani warship during the unveiling and with 20 mm three-barrel Gatling guns
The warship with hull number FS313-01 at the time of joining the IRGC Navy, with 20 mm three-barrel Gatling.

Probably, this 20 mm three-barreled cannon can be synchronized with different systems to engage with boats and missiles in the final stage of ship defense. Because in the test videos released from it, it is controlled remotely by the operator from somewhere else.

20 mm three-barreled marine Gatling gun without name – related to the Musalla exhibition in 1398 H.S

The helipad of this vessel is able to carry the Bell-412 heavy helicopter with anti-submarine capability, as well as all kinds of drones in the combat organization of the army, navy, and the IRGC.

Below the helipad, there is a crane for launching speedboats or drone boats, which are also capable of firing torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.

The back part of Shahid Soleimani warship and the location of speedboats

According to Admiral Tangsiri, 20,000 maps were used to build the ship and 100,000 sketches were made until the final design was reached. This vessel currently has a speed of 30 to 32 knots equivalent to 55.5 to 59.2 km/h. The initial construction time was less than 2 years. Tangsiri stated that the construction time of each vessel in Shahid Soleimani class is currently one year.

Iranian network’s interview with Admiral Tangsiri, Commander of the IRGC Navy about Shahid Soleimani warship (in Persian language)

Shahid Soleimani Catamaran Warship Specifications:
Type: Multi-role catamaran corvette
Class: Shahid Soleimani
Commissioned: 5 September 2022
Length: 67 m
Beam: 18-20 m
Displacement: 600 tons
Propulsion: 4 localized engines
Speed: 32 knots
Range: 5,000 nmi
Missile arsenal:
6 x anti-ship cruise missiles
6 x ground attack missiles
16 x air defense missiles
1 x 30 mm autocannon
4 x 20 mm Gatling with remote control
Aircraft carried: 1 × helicopter
Boat carried: 3 x speedboats
Origin: Iran

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Collection of posters of Shahid Soleimani Catamaran Warship in Russian (Военный корабль Шахида Сулеймани), Persian (ناو شهید سلیمانی), Chinese (沙希德·苏莱曼尼 双体船军舰), Hebrew (ספינת מלחמה קטמרן שהיד סולימאני), Arabic (بارجة الشهيد سليماني), Azeri (Şəhid Süleymani Gəmisi) and Kurdish (کەشتی جەنگی شەهید سولێمانی):

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