Commentary (IP) – In recent years, the Navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken great strides toward military self-sufficiency and localization of all vessels, especially combat vessels, including the IRIS Separ (P234).

Iran PressCommentary: One of the achievements in the field is the IRIS Separ (P234), which was delivered to the Northern Fleet of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy on December 5,  2017, in the presence of  Brigadier General Amir Hatami, then Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics, and finally Iranian Army Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, in Anzali Port.

The IRIS Separ (P234) is the fourth Sina-class fast attack craft (built in cooperation with the Marine Industries Organization of Iran's Ministry of Defense and the Islamic Republic of Iran's Navy).

In total, four Pikan-class missile-launching vessels are the product of the Sina-Class project, which have been designed by Iran's Navy specialists and made under the names of "Peykan," "Joshan," "Darafsh," and "Separ" have been operationalized in the Northern Fleet of the Navy in the Caspian Sea.

An overview

IRIS Separ (P234) is the fourth of the Peykan class frigates, built by capable domestic craftsmen and Shahid Tamjidi shipyard specialists.

Domestic specialists have built the shield missile frigate under the most challenging conditions amid sanctions. The IRIS Separ (P234) is one of the most up-to-date frigates regarding communication equipment and weapon systems.

Fast maneuvering, high speed, surface-to-surface missile system, anti-aircraft, and anti-surface defense systems are among the prominent capabilities of the IRIS Separ (P234).

It was built for two and a half years, and with its serving, another big step was taken to maintain and promote Iran's authority in the Caspian Sea.  

Rear Admiral Amir Rastegari, the Head of the Marine Industries Organization of the Ministry of Defense and Logistics of the Armed Forces, said about IRIS Separ (P234): "This frigate has the ability to compete with modern frigates in the world and the ability to operate in different weather conditions."

IRIS Separ (P234) is 47 meters long, 7.1 meters wide, and 15 meters high and has a maximum speed of 35 knots, and is equipped with a variety of localized advanced weapons, including a surface-to-surface missile system, 76 and 40 mm cannons, and a fire control radar with the ability to track fighters and cruise missiles.

The Peykan class vessels, including the IRIS Separ (P234) with 31 crew, have a displacement tonnage of 275 to 300 tons, are powered by four 3500 horsepower engines, and reach a maximum speed of 35 knots, approximately equal to 65 km/h. Four generators of 140 kilowatts are also responsible for producing electric power for various applications in these vessels.

By applying the results of scientific research and research projects carried out in Iran and with the appropriate placement of equipment in different parts and other practical factors, this frigate has a perfect balance of buoyancy and stability in rough seas and is used for patrolling missions.

It is used in waters close to 200 miles or 320 kilometers. The 76 mm Fajr 27Naval Defense Cannon in the frigate's chest with a rate of fire of 120 rounds per minute and a maximum range of 17 km, a range of 12 km against surface targets, and 7 km against air targets, is the principal naval gun of the armored frigate.

40 mm Fath 40 cannon with a firing rate of 300 rounds per minute, an effective range of 4000 meters against air targets and 6000 meters against sea and land targets, and a final range of 12 km. The IRIS Separ (P234) uses 4 Noor or Qader class cruise missile launchers (with a range of 120 to 250 km). In a new development, the IRIS Separ (P234) has been equipped with eight anti-ship cruise missile launchers in the Navy's military exercise in the Caspian Sea.

While earlier, the maximum missile carrying capacity of this class of frigate was four missile launchers.

Sina Class project

The Sina Class project, in which the IRIS Separ (P234)  was also built and operated, was designed and built based on the experience gained from missile-launching light frigates during the imposed war. Compared to larger warships, these frigates have better capabilities in relatively small and closed environments such as the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea.

Before the victory of the Islamic Revolution, a number of La Combattante-class missile-launching frigates were purchased by Iran from France, which, of course, were armed with US-made Harpoon anti-ship missiles.

About 15 of these vessels were ordered from France, and finally, 12 were delivered, which were used a lot during the war years in various missions in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

The Peykan frigate was one of the vessels of this class that managed to send a major part of the Iraqi Navy to the depths of the Persian Gulf with the help of the Air Force during the Pearl Operation in December 1980.

In the following years, the process of upgrading these missile frigates was completed in southern Iran, and part of these vessels' electronic and weapon systems were replaced and updated. Due to the determination of Iran's defense industry and navy to build these frigates indigenously, the Peykan class frigates in the form of the Sina Class project were built based on a foreign model, namely the La Combattante-class missile-launching frigates, but except for the similarity in structure and two artillery weapons, in other components are completely different from the foreign model and indigenous and domestic equipment are used in them, benefiting from the latest technologies. In fact, Iran's defense industry is not satisfied with upgrading the La Combattante-class missile-launching frigates and is looking for the design and construction of a new generation of vessels.

The style of the rocket launcher was based on the original French design. This plan shows the installation of anti-ship cruise missiles, radar, and optical systems along with 40 and 76 mm cannons on these vessels. At the same time, anti-aircraft missiles are also used in some frigates of this class, such as armored frigates.

These vessels can be used in a combined mode; some have anti-aircraft missiles, and some have anti-surface missiles. The anti-ship missile used in the Sina class frigates is still unclear, but as far as the appearance is concerned, it can be pointed to the Noor anti-ship missile series.

PeyKan (in the memory of the immortalized arrow in the sacred defense) was delivered to this force in the fourth Naval region in Bandar Anzali.

In 2017, with the addition of The IRIS Separ (P234) with maneuverability and high speed and up-to-date weapon systems, the process of delivering four aircraft of this class of frigates to the Northern Fleet of the Navy was completed.


In the new vessels that are built in Iran, including the IRIS Separ (P234), a new optical system has been installed on the frigate, which can be used to fire the frigate's cannon in situations when it is not possible to use radar for any reason.

Another important upgrade that has occurred in the IRIS Separ (P234) for the first time is the use of the Samen fire control radar. This radar has been installed on the Damavand destroyer for the first time. X-band radar is used to control the fire of missiles used in this vessel.

Among the capabilities of this radar are ESM "electronic support measures," pulse compression, use of anti-jamming techniques and anti-radiation weapons, sending continuous wave and Doppler pulses, pulse coding, and the ability to intermittently and irregularly change frequency and change In order to deal with electronic warfare measures, the polarization indicated separation in the range of 30 meters and accuracy in the range of 5.7 meters.

Regarding the ESM capability, it should be explained that electronic support or electronic support actions collect information through passive "listening" of military-targeted electromagnetic radiation.

In simple words, the work of ESM systems is to search the battle space, identify any telecommunications signal, satellite waves, or radar of the enemy and carry out actions such as detection and interception, recording and analysis, and discovery of the source of radiation, and if these waves are identified as hostile and are to be destroyed, the desired information is quickly provided to the weapon systems and fire is fired towards the source of the waves.

What is generally seen in the IRIS Separ is the consolidation of firepower in a small platform along with the use of the Iranian Samen fire control radar for the first time in the Sina Class project, which along with other combat vessels and other Iranian defense elements in this area will protect Iran's interests and security in the Caspian Sea.

By: Reza Mirtaher


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