The modern Iranian Navy ("Islamic Republic of Iran Navy") fields a collection of four missile boats belonging to the Sina-class. These are 275-ton displacement vessels charged with coastal defense of strategic waterways and interception of enemy vessels. Paykan makes up one of the four boats and was introduced into service in 2003. She is one of three (Joshan and Derafsh being the other two) that represent a heavily Iranian-upgraded version of the earlier Kaman-class (10 boats built).
Paykan is directly named after Paykan (P224), the Kaman-class missile boat which was sunk by enemy elements during "Operation Praying Mantis" in April of 1988. The attack by U.S. naval forces was in response to the Iranian naval mining of Persian Gulf waters during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988.
The reborn vessel has an overall length of 154 feet with a beam measuring 23 feet and a draught down to 6 feet. Propulsion is through 4 x Marine diesel engines developing 14,400 horsepower output to 4 x Shafts under stern, giving the boat a maximum speed of 36 knots. Aboard is a crew of thirty-one personnel.
Armament consists of 1 x 76mm turreted deck gun over the forecastle, 1 x 40mm Anti-Aircraft (AA) autocannon, and 2 or 4 x C802 Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles (ASCMs). The missiles, introduced in 1998, are of Chinese origin and give the compact boats a potent ranged weapon.
Structurally, the vessels are highly conventional. The turret is positioned at the "A" mounting with excellent fields of fire across the bow and sides. The bridge superstructure is slightly elevated above this weapon and a lattice-style mast works, containing radar, communications and other pertinent operational systems, is integrated into the hull superstructure. The structure is stepped towards the stern to which the missile launchers are fitted. Due to its compact dimensions, the Paykan does not support aircraft from its stern.
The Iranian Navy uses missile boats as fast attack / interception aircraft and Paykan's shallow draught of 6 feet works well in operations close-to-shore. The boat also has a limited deep water capability allowing it access to broader reaches of the Persian Gulf zone. In total war, the missile boat - and others like it - would be used for hit-and-run strikes against larger warships, in Search and Rescue (SAR) operations of downed airmen, and in intercepting logistical ships in open water.
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