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Iran ISOICO Shipyard Imagery Update

September 17, 2015

By Chris Biggers


DigitalGlobe imagery from 29 April 2015 of the Kharg (431) before entering the dry dock at the ISOICO shipyard.

The latest commercial satellite imagery shows some new developments at Iran’s ISOICO shipyard near Bostanu. In August, the Kharg (431) replenishment ship, which has been berthed at the shipyard since last November, was moved to the yard’s floating dry dock. Imagery suggests that the ship may be undergoing more extensive maintenance. Prior to the vessel’s arrival, it had been home ported at Bandar Abbas where monthly imagery suggests it has remained since late 2013 despite news stories to the contrary. The Kharg is operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy and is the largest Iranian military vessel by tonnage.

Iran GhadirNot far from the Kharg near the shipyard’s fabrication shop, new imagery from earlier this month showed two Ghadir coastal submarine out of water near the transverse table. The two boats may have come back to the shipyard for a refit as Iran continues to advance its submarine technology. For routine maintenance Iran has a facility over at Bandar Abbas that it made operational in 2009. Publicly available imagery in Google Earth from November 2014 also showed two Ghadir submarines near the fabrication shop. Over the years, the Ghadir have been spotted less frequently at the shipyard where they were initially built.

The Ghadir submarine are reportedly operated by both the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy. The majority of the coastal submarines are based out of Bandar Abbas where no more than 10 have been consistently observed.

Chris Biggers

Chris Biggers is a public and private sector consultant based in Washington, D.C.

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