Iranian Warship Suspiciously Capsizes in Gulf Port

( – In 2018, Iran launched a 1,300-ton vessel — Sahand — into the Persian Gulf. It was reportedly equipped with various missiles, anti-aircraft batteries, and radar devices. On July 7, the country’s state media reported that the ship — a naval destroyer — was at a port near the Strait of Hormuz for repairs when it capsized.

The news agency IRNA quoted the Iranian navy’s statement, explaining that the Sahand was at the wharf when it “lost its balance due to water ingress.” While the notice said the vessel was “being returned to balance quickly,” a more recent report said the repositioning was completed but brief.

On July 8, reports from a news agency affiliated with the Supreme National Security Council said a “rope holding the ship broke” and the Sahand ultimately sunk. One original report of the capsizing stated that two officers were killed during the incident, and several others were injured. The Iranian army’s news portal confirmed that “several people sustained minor injuries…and were taken to [the] hospital” but didn’t mention that anyone was killed.

HI Sutton, who writes about under-reported submarines and other vessels and technologies, concluded that the upending happened because missile and radar upgrades could have raised the ship’s center of gravity, making it more top-heavy. He also guessed that the cause of the initial incident could have been poor maintenance or a parking accident, although it could’ve also been the result of sabotage.

It doesn’t appear that Sutton is buying the “technical failure during repairs” official explanation. Israeli Security Analyst Ronen Solomon said the ship’s system was vulnerable to cyber-attacks because it is controlled remotely. Still, Iran hasn’t changed its explanation for the incident.

Sutton outlayed other mishaps involving Iranian Navy vessels in recent years, including the Damavand capsizing and sinking in early 2018, the Kharg catching fire and sinking in June 2021, and the Talayieh rolling over in late 2021.

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