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Iran’s main naval base is located at Bandar Abbas.1 The complex hosts a missile site where Chinese-built cruise missiles such as the CSS-N-2 Silkworm, HY-2 Seersucker and C-801 Sardine are tested, assembled, manufactured, and upgraded.2 The Revolutionary Guard Corps protects the complex with HAWK, SA-5 and SA-2 air-defense missiles.3 According to Stratfor, “Iran generally keeps eight SS-N-22 Sunburn anti-ship missile batteries stationed near Bandar Abbas, as well as at least 12 Silkworm anti-ship missile sites around Bandar Abbas and Kharg Island.”4 The IRCG likely deploys the missiles in hardened underground silos. Iran may also have deployed C-701 missiles near Bandar Abbas.5 The military complex also houses Iran’s fleet of Chinese-made Houdong fast missile boats.6 Experts estimate that Iran has armed approximately twenty of these craft with Saccade C-802 missiles.7
- Cruise missile
- An unmanned self-propelled guided vehicle that sustains flight through aerodynamic lift for most of its flight path. There are subsonic and supersonic cruise missiles currently deployed in conventional and nuclear arsenals, while conventional hypersonic cruise missiles are currently in development. These can be launched from the air, submarines, or the ground. Although they carry smaller payloads, travel at slower speeds, and cover lesser ranges than ballistic missiles, cruise missiles can be programmed to travel along customized flight paths and to evade missile defense systems.
- Tim Ripley, “Gulf of Distrust - Naval Stand-Offs and the Persian Gulf,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, 1 March 2008, www.janes.com.
- Anthony Cordesman, The Military Balance in the Middle East (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2004), p. 497.
- Nick Cook, “Aerospace, Scenario 2015: How Science Shapes War,” Jane’s Defence Weekly, 1 June 1997, www.janes.com.
- “Global Market Brief: Flashback to the Tanker War,” Stratfor, 25 August 2006, www.stratfor.com.
- Anthony H. Cordesman and Martin Kleiber, Iran’s Military and Warfighting Capabilities: The Threat in the Northern Gulf (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2007), p.118.
- Austin Knuppe, “Global Economic Challenges to New Iranian Sanctions,” The Long War Journal, 29 March 2010, www.longwarjournal.org.
- “Second Sub for Iran,” The Washington Post, 4 August 1993, www.washingtonpost.com.