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Iran: Warship Sahand sinks, days after capsizing

The 311-foot-long frigate was equipped with sophisticated missiles, anti-aircraft batteries and radar capabilities
An image grab from Iranian state TV in December 2019 shows the Iranian frigate 'Sahand' during Iran-Russia-China joint naval drills in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman (IRIB TV/AFP)
An image grab from Iranian state TV in December 2019 shows the Iranian frigate Sahand during joint naval drills with Russia and China in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman (IRIB TV/AFP)

The Iranian navy frigate Sahand sank on Tuesday in shallow waters in the southern port of Bandar Abbas, days after it had initially capsized, according to Iran's Nour News agency. 

On Sunday, the Irna state news agency said the 311-foot-long frigate "lost its balance" after water had leaked into its tanks while undergoing repairs. 

Efforts had been made to rebalance the vessel, but it sank two days later. 

"The Sahand warship, which was rebalanced on the water with great difficulty on Monday, has now sunk after the rope holding the ship broke," said Nour News, which is affiliated with Iran's supreme national security council.

The ship was first launched in 2018, and is equipped with a flight deck for helicopters, surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft batteries and radar and radar-evading capabilities. 

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Since its construction, the ship had been upgraded to include four to eight medium range air defence missiles, twice as many anti-ship missiles and a new radar. 

According to Naval News, this may have raised the vessel's centre of gravity. 

Iran launched its first domestically made destroyer in 2010, revamping its existing navy equipment which dated from before the revolution in 1979. 

There have been several incidents related to Iranian naval ships in recent years, including the capsizing of Sahand's sister ship Damavand, which sunk after crashing into a breakwater in January 2018. 

In May 2020, in a friendly fire accident, the support ship Konarak was hit by an Iranian missile. 

Naval ship Kharg sank in June 2021 after it caught fire in the Gulf of Oman during a training mission. There were no casualties. 

Later that year, the Talayieh vessel rolled over in a dry dock in Bandar Abbas. 

Iran has developed a wide array of domestic weaponry in recent years, after international sanctions and embargoes barred it from importing arms from many countries.

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