A fleet of Iranian warships crossed the equator from Sri Lanka on Thursday on their way toward Indonesia as part of a military display meant to show Tehran’s global reach, according to regional reports.
The Iranian Navy’s 33rd fleet of warships, comprised of destroyers and logistical warships, continued its march across international waters to "display the power" of its Navy, according to Iranian military officials.
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"The Indian Ocean is a stage for the big powers to display the power of their fleets, and the presence of this flotilla shows that we are active and powerful on this stage too," Colonel Ebrahim Rouhani, Iran's Military Attaché in Sri Lanka, was quoted as saying by the state-controlled Fars News Agency.
The voyage is just the latest in a series of military displays by Tehran aimed at proving to the world that its military is capable of combatting Western threats. It also gives Iran an opportunity to forge military-to-military relations with countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
"The presence of the army's flotilla of warship in Colombo port shows our good relations with Sri Lanka," Rouhani was quoted as saying.
The war fleet is moving toward Sri Lanka, another country Iran hopes to woe.
As the Iranian Navy continues to venture further into international waters across the globe, it is also building a new "hi-tech submarine" capable of firing marine cruise missiles and other torpedoes, according to military leaders.
The nearly 200-foot submarine is currently being designed and will have the ability to plunge to a depth of 300 meters, according to Fars.
"Iranian military experts plan to mount 6 launchers for firing torpedoes and marine cruise missiles on the new submarine and equip the subsurface vessel with mine-laying capability," Fars reports.
Advanced submarine technology was part of the focus of a recent meeting in Tehran with Russia’s defense minister.
The talks focused on Iran’s desire to purchase from Russia a slew of advanced military hardware that would significantly boost Tehran’s sea power, particularly in the Gulf of Oman.