Bandar Abbas, Hormuzgan prov, Dec 28 - Iranian Navy started 6-day 'Velayat 91′naval exercises in Iran's southern waters on Friday. Navy commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari told reporters that it covers international waters in Gulf of Oman, Hormuz Strait, North of Indian Ocean, Aden Gulf and Bab el Mandeb Strait.
Navy Chief Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari orders the commencement of the exercises
He said the Velayat-91 naval exercises will demonstrate Iran's navy capabilities in defense of Iran's interests and sea borders, carrying the message of peace for neighbors.
Navy's 23rd fleet of warships, comprised of the Jamaran destroyer and the Bushehr Helicopter carrier will escort trade ships and oil tankers against the piracy during the exercise, the commander added.
The exercises will test missile and defense systems, combat fleets and submarines, and will also include combat training, maritime patrol and reconnaissance and combating threats, according to Sayyari.
The exercises would also test the navy's capabilities of dealing with electronic warfare alongside its knowledge of naval combat, he added.
Sayyari said that the IRI's submarine capability has advanced compared with last year, adding that Iran now has the ability to manufacture submarines including the Ghadir brand as well as repairing and overhauling heavy submarines.
Sayyari in an interview with IRNA on Thursday had said that Iran's Navy would continue its presence in international waters.
Iran's navy to continue presence in international waters: Commander
Islamic Republic of Iran's Navy (IRIN) would continue its presence in international waters, Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said here on Thursday. He made the remarks in an interview with IRNA in Bandar Abbas on Thursday. .
'Several countries are present in the international waters and IRIN's presence there which aims to provide security of trade ships and oil tankers proves its capabilities; the world has accepted the power of IRIN and its scientific progress in construction of new marine equipments.'
The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen.
According to UN Security Council resolutions, different countries can send their warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia against the pirates and even with prior notice to Somali government enter the territorial waters of that country in pursuit of Somali sea pirates.
The Gulf of Aden - which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea - is an important energy corridor, particularly because Persian Gulf oil is shipped to the West through the Suez Canal.
In November, Iran boosted its naval power in the Persian Gulf waters after a new missile launching vessel and two light submarines joined its Navy fleet.
The Sina-7 missile-launching frigate was launched in a ceremony in Iran's Southern port city of Bandar Abbas on the occasion of the National Day of Navy.
During the ceremony attended by Sayyari, two Qadir-class light submarines also joined the Iranian naval fleet.
All parts of the Qadir-class submarines, including the hull, radar equipment and advanced defense systems, have been made domestically.
The submarines are appropriate vessels for different naval missions, including reconnaissance and combat in territorial waters, especially in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz which are not wide enough for the maneuvering of large warships and submarines.
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