AFP: Iran said on Tuesday that it has begun supplying squadrons of “flying boats” to its elite Revolutionary Guards, as the country seeks to boost its military capability in the face of threats.
TEHRAN, September 28, 2010 (AFP) – Iran said on Tuesday that it has begun supplying squadrons of “flying boats” to its elite Revolutionary Guards, as the country seeks to boost its military capability in the face of threats.
Three squadrons of the “Bavar 2” — a single-pilot seaplane made in Iran — have already been delivered to the Guards’ navy, Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said in a report by Fars news agency.
“The flying boat is equipped with a machine gun as well as night vision and daytime cameras, and is capable of capturing and transmitting images and data,” Vahidi was quoted as saying.
Footage of about a dozen of the small, insect-like aircraft floating on waters said to be off the Gulf port of Bandar Abbas was broadcast on Iran’s English-language Press TV.
The existence of the project to develop the Bavar 2 was first announced in 2006 when the “flying boat” conducted its maiden test flight, according to Iran’s Arabic-language Al-Alam television network.
In August, Iran said it was mass producing high-speed, missile-launching assault boats to be deployed along its coastline and the key Strait of Hormuz shipping route, which links the oil-rich Gulf to international markets.
The Islamic republic’s arch-foes, the United States and Israel, have not ruled out taking military action to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a move that could choke off about 40 percent of the world’s oil supplied by tanker ships, in the event of a military attack.