(Feb. 19) -- In the midst of a diplomatic standoff over its controversial nuclear program, Iran has rolled out its latest homegrown weapon, a guided-missile destroyer called Jamaran.
"The destroyer's launch marks a major technological leap for Iran's naval industries," Iran's English-language Press TV reported. The new ship, which sports a helipad, is equipped with anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles, torpedoes and naval cannons.
But just how capable is the destroyer? Few technical details have been released about the ship other than its basic weight of around 1,400 tons. It can carry between 120 and 140 people.
By comparison, the United States' most modern class of destroyer, the Arleigh Burke, is more than 8,000 tons, and its possible successor, the Zumwalt class destroyer, is expected to weigh in at more than 14,000 tons.
Commenters on an online defense forum pointed out that the size of the Iranian ship would hardly count as a destroyer in most navies. "I guess you can call it a frigate, but Iran has a different classification system, which is not based on displacement but rather based on armament," one member noted.
The Jamaran's rollout follows a long history of Iran boasting about its military capabilities. Over the past several years, it has touted its indigenous development of a radar-evading drone and stealthy submarines. Last year, after a protracted dispute with Russia over the sale of the S-300 missile, Iran claimed it cou... >>>
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