The Iranian Navy has traditionally been the smallest branch of Iran's armed forces and is designed solely for securing its own ports and coast, with little in the way of striking power. Before 1971, the Iranian Navy mostly operated equipment provided by the United States and the United Kingdom. Over the following eight years, the fleet added more modern American and British-made destroyers, frigates and many smaller vessels, including powerboats and hovercraft.

In the 1970s, Iran planned to extend its naval reach into the Indian Ocean; but this goal was curtailed by the Islamic Revolution (1979), the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), and limited funding ever since. This has left the navy with a limited ability to project power from the Persian Gulf into the Oman Sea through submarines and larger surface ships. The last Shah of Iran ordered four modern destroyers from the United States, an order that was cancelled after the Shah fell. The ships were instead commissioned in the U.S. Navy as the Kidd class.

After the Islamic Revolution, the United States levied economic, trade and military sanctions on Iran, particularly squeezing the Navy, which had several ships laid up.

In the 1990s, the Navy added patrol boats, submarines, and surface-launched anti-ship missiles, and replaced Western ships with ones bought from China, North Korea, and Russia. During that time, it also engaged in naval exercises with Pakistan and India.

Order of BattleEdit

Guide to Iran's Navy [1]


  • 2 Moudge class frigates
  • 3 Alvand class frigates


  • 2 Bayandor class corvettes
  • 1 Hamzeh class corvette

Patrol/Fast Attack CraftEdit

  • 2 SINA class missile craft
  • 14 Kaman class missile craft
  • 10 Thondor class missile craft
  • 3 Parvin class coastal patrol craft
  • 3 Kaivan class coastal patrol craft
  • 3 Zafar clas inshore patrol craft


  • 3 Kilo class submarines
  • 2 Qaaem class submarines
  • 17 Ghadir class midget submarines
  • 1 Nahang class midget submarine
  • 4 Yugo class midget submarines
  • 15 "Al Sabehat 15" Swimmer Delivery Vehicles

Mine WarfareEdit

  • 2 Hejaz class minelayers
  • 1 Shahrokh class mine countermeasures ship
  • 2 Riazi class mine countermeasures ships

Amphibious ShipsEdit

  • 4 Hengam class Landing Ships, Tank
  • 3 Hormuz 24 class Landing Ships, Tank
  • 3 Hormuz 22 class Landing Ships, Tank
  • 3 Fouque class Landing Ships, Logistics
  • 6 Landing Craft, Tank
  • 6 Wellington BH-7 hovercraft
  • 8 SRN-6 hovercraft

Support ShipsEdit

  • 1 Kharg class replenishment ship
  • 2 Bandar Abbas class light replenishment oilers
  • 4 Kangan class logistics tankers
  • 12 Bakhtaran/Hendijan class coastal utility vessels
  • 7 Delvar class coastal logistics ships


Aircraft Role Number in service Number acquired Service entry Origin
Agusta Bell AB-212ASW ASW helicopter 6 14 1971 Italy
Sikorsky SH-3D Sea King ASW helicopter 15 21 1974 Italy/United States
Sikorsky RH-53D Sea Stallion Minesweeping/heavy-lift helicopter 5 7 1977 United States
Fokker F27 Friendship Tactical transport 2 4 1983 Holland
Rockwell Aero Commander Utility transport 3 11 1973 United States
Dassault Falcon/Mystere 20E VIP transport 2 4 1975 France
Agusta Bell AB 205 Medium-lift helicopter 5 24 1983 Italy
Agusta Bell AB 206A Utility helicopter 12 14 1969 Italy

Shore BatteriesEdit

  • 120 C-802/C-802A Noor launchers
  • 100 HY-2 “Silkworm” launchers
  • 40 C-701T/C-701R “Kosar”
  • 30 Ra’ad launchers (Ra'ad is an advanced Iranian development of the Silkworm)

Naval InfantryEdit

  • 1 Brigade of Naval Infantry