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Is Iran Slowly Moving Towards Building an Aircraft Carrier?

By National Interest

Warships capable of carrying aircraft are used by navies around the world, but to date, the Iranian Navy isn’t one of those countries that operate a carrier. The closest that the Islamic Republic of Iran has come to building an aircraft carrier is to “simulate” an American carrier as a weapons test platform.

The “Elite” Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGC-N) had transformed an old target barge into a large-scale mock-up of that loosely resembled the U.S. Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.

It was used in the February 2015 “Great Prophet IX” exercises and again this past summer in similar exercises. Embarrassingly for the IRGC-N the faux carrier proved difficult to sink – that is until it floundered in waters in the channels near the Iranian naval base at Bandar Abbas.

Now, Tehran could be inching closer to developing a true carrier.

The Associated Press reported this month that the IRGC-N reportedly launched a heavy warship that was capable of carrying helicopters, drones and missile launchers. From the photographs that have been released online, it appears to be a large cargo vessel rather a true warship.

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