Iran is developing a submarine that could launch an anti-ship cruise missile designed to quickly sink an American warship operating in the Strait of Hormuz, according to a new assessment of Iranian naval capabilities published Wednesday by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence.
Citing Iranian press reports, the new ONI study – Iranian Naval Forces: A Tale of Two Navies – said development of Tehran’s new Besat-class of diesel-electric attack submarine will include an anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) capability.
“In terms of armament, the Besat will likely have six torpedo tubes, capable of employing torpedoes and mines, as well as submarine-launched ASCMs,” reads the report.
While ONI did not identify a specific missile system for the Besat, the report’s conclusion said the capability would likely emerge in the Iranian fleet “over the next five years.”
Beyond a scattering of press reports, little is known about the 1,300-ton Besat program – part of Iran’s domestic shipbuilding effort for the regular Iranian Navy.