Some information has come out concerning the Iranian Navy’s progress in building the supposed Damavand-2. The ship is a Moudge-class frigate and is being built in order to replace the Damavand which was forced ashore against the coast of the Caspian Sea close to its home port of Bandar-e Anzali.
The original Damavand served as the flagship of Iran’s Northern Fleet after its launch in 2013. Apparently, the ship was thought of as a training vessel per the Iranian Navy. It housed a relatively advanced onboard array radar that would allow the vessel to track multiple ships at a time along with four Qader anti-ship cruise missiles, a 76 mm Fajr-27 gun and smaller cannons, an anti-aircraft gun, two anti-air missiles, and torpedoes.
In 2018, the Damavand was met with high winds and rough waves that caused the ship to break up upon the rocks. It resulted in the death of two sailors and the ship was stripped of all equipment before succumbing to the depths of the Caspian. It is currently unknown if any equipment has been transferred from the original Damavand to this newer ship.
The importance of replacing the Damavand with a newer flagship cannot be understated. Iran claims roughly 20% of the Caspian Sea which still remains a rich source of oil and natural gas. Having a show of force on the Caspian has allowed Iran to have some show of force upon the Caspian. Russia has maintained, and continues to maintain, the most powerful flotilla in the region. The Caspian is bordered by Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan.
Currently, the Damavand-2 is said to be in its final phases of completion with reports of paint being applied to the vessel along with reports stating that a non-rotating 3D gun guidance system will be installed. It apparently will possess the ability to detect and intercept more than 100 various targets and transmit the information to the weapons systems onboard. As of now, there is not much information about the current weapon systems on the ship but with its completion potentially upcoming, more information may be released.
As for now the ship will replace the original Damavand and potentially serve as the flagship of Iran’s Northern Fleet in order to maintain some symbol of power on the Caspian.