PortandTerminal.com, July 8, 2020
DUBAI – A video of one of Iran’s three Kilo-class submarines being transported by truck was posted to social media today and is being reported on in Iranian media.
Kilo-class subs are diesel-electric attack submarines designed and built in the Soviet Union for the Soviet Navy and were built up until the mid-1990s. Iran bought three Kilo-Class submarines from Russia (known as Tareq-class in Iran) in the early 1990s. These diesel-electric submarines are said to be capable but increasingly dated. They can carry heavyweight torpedoes and likely have a modest anti-submarine capability. They could certainly sink a merchant ship in the Gulf if that was what they were tasked to do.
H I Sutton, a contributor at Forbes who covers the topic, is reporting today that the move of the sub does not appear to be routine. The implication is that at least one of the boats is not currently seaworthy.
While moving a submarine by road isn’t unique, it is unusual Sutton reports. It is more often seen when boats are moved inshore to become museum ships, or during construction. The Kilo Class is 230 feet long, 32 feet wide and have a displacement (in water) of around 3,000 tons. So they are not easy to move by road. It strongly suggests that the boat is not capable of being moved on the water, whether under its own power or being towed.
Even for routine maintenance they are normally moved on the water. Iran has a dry dock in Bandar Abbas where the Kilo Class submarines are routinely overhauled.
Read Sutton’s full analysis of the unusual submarine move in Forbes by clicking here.
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