The Iranian navy added a brand new, domestically-made stealth destroyer to its fleet on Saturday, Reuters reports, deploying the warship and its purported radar-evading systems to join rest of the country's regular navy at the mouth of the strategically-crucial Strait of Hormuz in yet another challenge to the U.S. Navy.
The new Sahand destroyer, the first in a new family of Iranian warships, was "the result of daring and creative design relying on the local technical knowledge of the Iranian Navy... and has been built with stealth capabilities,” Iranian navy shipyard chief Rear-Admiral Alireza Sheikhi told state TV.
State TV also claimed destroyer comes outfitted with a "flight deck for helicopters, torpedo launchers, anti-aircraft and anti-ship guns, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, and electronic warfare capabilities," per Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
The unveiling of the destroyer represents the latest technological challenge to the U.S. Navy vessels operating in the region. In October, the Iranian military claimed it had boosted the range of its land-to-sea ballistic missiles up to 700 km (435 miles), capable of hitting “any vessel or ship” at that range.
While the Iranian navy has, for the most part, scaled back its harassment of U.S. Navy vessels in the Persian Gulf since President Donald Trump took office, these advances in the Persian Gulf pose a growing threat to military personnel there following months of growing tensions over freedom-of-navigation operations in key regional waterways.
“We remain committed to providing and promoting security and stability in the region and continue to stand with our partners to sustain freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waterways,” U.S Naval Forces Central Command Cmdr. Joshua Frey told Task & Purpose in a statement at the time. “We advocate for all forces to conform to international customs, standards, and laws.”
Even if the Sahand doesn't become the primary instigator in confrontations between the two, a successful demonstration of its stealth capabilities could prove embarrassing to the U.S. Navy. After all, as The War Zone reported in September, the Navy's beleaguered USS Zumwalt may be the least-stealthy "stealth" ship currently on the high seas.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."