A senior official in the Iranian military has said that his country has the ability to build large naval ships, including aircraft carriers, and all that is needed is the funding.
Aircraft carriers are the largest and most expensive type of naval ships and are primarily intended to project military power internationally.
Communications Bureau Chief of the Chief Commander of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Abbas Sedehi claimed Iran has the know-how to produce vessels over twice the size of the home-made destroyers it already has, the semi-official Fars news agency reported Sunday.
“We are capable of building 200m-long warships, warships double the size of Jamaran or aircraft carriers if the government does the budgeting,” he said referring to the 95 meter-long, 1,500 ton destroyer the country launched in February 2010, the first of seven that are planned. A second ship, Damavand, is also in service.
Last month Deputy Commander of the Iranian Army for Coordination Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said Iran will launch the next destroyer, Sahand, in 2018.
In 2016, Deputy Navy Commander for Coordination Admiral Peiman Jafari Tehrani declared the country planned to build an aircraft carrier.
Iranian Navy Commander Habibollah Sayyari first declared in 2014 that Iran was able to construct aircraft carriers as well as high-tech submarines.
In addition, the UK, Australia, Egypt, France, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand have helicopter carriers, ships that carry several rotary wing aircraft. In 2020 Britain’s Royal Navy is scheduled to put the 280-meter long supercarrier HMS Queen Elizabeth into service, after it completes sea trials. The ship cost some £3.1 billion ($4.13 billion).
The US Navy operates the largest aircraft carriers in the world, with the nuclear-powered Nimitz-class ships reaching 330 meters in length and the USS Gerald R. Ford, launched earlier this year, having total length of 337 meters and weighing 100,000 tons. The ship cost $12.8 billion to build.
The largest ships in the Israeli navy are the 1,000 ton Sa’ar 5-class corvettes with a length of 85 meters. Israel has three of the vessels that each carry one helicopter.
In 2014 An Iranian newspaper reported that the country’s military planned to target a mock American aircraft carrier during war games.