More Iranian Minis

August 12, 2010: Iran recently announced that it had put four more mini-submarines into service, for a total of eleven in the last five years. Over the last decade, Iran has, apparently with technical help from North Korea, been building mini-submarines for operations along its coasts, and throughout the Persian Gulf. The first two entered service about five years ago. The Iranians say they will use the mini-subs to lay mines or launch underwater commando attacks. While the North Koreans provided some technical assistance, the Iranian sub is a local design, smaller than most North Korean mini-subs, which is a reflection of the more turbulent seas found off the Korean coast.

The Iranian subs appear to be based on the North Korean M100D, a 76 ton, 19 meter (58 foot) long boat that has a crew of four and can carry eight divers and their equipment, or several naval mines, or a torpedo. The North Koreans got the idea for the M100D when they bought the plans for a 25 ton Yugoslav mini-sub in the 1980s. Only four of those were built, apparently as experiments to develop a larger North Korean design. There are believed to be over 30 M100Ds, in addition to eleven of the Iranian variation.

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