Alvand-class frigate

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A starboard beam view of an Iranian Alvand class frigate underway.
A starboard view of the Iranian destroyer escort IIS Saam, later renamed IRS Alvand
Class overview
Name: Alvand class
Builders: Vosper Thornycroft, Vickers
Operators:  Islamic Republic of Iran Navy
Succeeded by: Moudge class
Completed: 4
Active: 3
Lost: 1
General characteristics
Type: Frigate
Displacement: 1,100 tons (1,540 tons full load)
Length: 94.5 m (310 ft)
Beam: 11.07 m (36.3 ft)
Draught: 3.25 m (10.7 ft)
Propulsion: 2 Paxman Ventura cruising diesels 3,800 bhp (2,800 kW), and 2 Rolls Royce Olympus TM-3A boost gas turbines 46,000 shp (34,000 kW) on 2 shafts
Speed: 17 knots (31 km/h) on diesels; 39 knots (72 km/h) on gas turbines
Range: 5,000 nmi (9,000 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h)
Complement: 125-146

The Alvand class (Persian: ناوچه کلاس الوند) was originally a class of four frigates known as the Saam class built for the pre-revolutionary Iranian Navy. They were renamed the Alvand class after the Iranian Revolution.

Three remain in service, a fourth was sunk by the US Navy in 1988 during the Iran-Iraq War.

Development and construction[edit]

The ships were built in the UK by Vosper Ltd and based on their Mark 5 design with the following arms & equipment:[1]

They were refitted in the UK shortly before the 1979 Iranian Revolution.[2]


The ships were originally named after characters from Ferdowsi's Shahnameh, but after the Islamic Revolution they were renamed after mountains in Iran.[3]

They saw action during the "Tanker War" phase of the Iran–Iraq War and proved effective against Iraqi forces. However, after one was sunk, and other significant losses taken, during Operation Praying Mantis they saw little further use as the Iranian Navy proved no match for the US Navy.[4]


The Sea Killer missiles were replaced by Chinese made C-802s in the 1990s, and the Sea Cats replaced by the addition of a 20 mm (0.79 in) AA gun.

Two triple 12.75-inch (324 mm) torpedo tubes, two 81 mm (3 in) mortars and two 0.50 caliber machine guns were also fitted.[3]


The Moudge-class frigate is a modified Iranian-built version of the Alvand class, with five either in service or building.[5]

Ships in the class[edit]

Ship Pennant number Builder Launched Status
Alvand - ex-Saam 71 (ex DE 12) Vosper Thornycroft 1968 In Service
Alborz - ex-Zaal 72 (ex DE 14) Vickers 1969 In Service
Sabalan - ex-Rostam 73 (ex DE 16) Vickers 1969 In Service
Sahand - ex-Faramarz 74 (ex DE 18) Vosper Thornycroft 1969 sunk on 18 April 1988.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Moore, John Jane's Fighting Ships, 1974–75, pub Jane's Publishing Co Ltd, 1975, ISBN 0-354-00506-5-page 175.
  2. ^ John Pike. "Global Security". Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b Military Factory.
  4. ^ "BBC 10 January 2012". BBC News. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  5. ^ "New Wars". New Wars. Retrieved 11 November 2014.

External links[edit]