Iran has launched a new class of submarine that has never been seen before, satellite imagery obtained by IHS Jane's reveals.
One of the boats can clearly be seen in the water at the Bostanu shipyard on the Strait of Hormuz in Astrium imagery taken on 27 October. It measures 40.5 m long and 4 m wide at the waterline.
A second can be seen under construction at the Bandar Anzali Naval Base on the Caspian Sea on 17 September. It is partially shrouded by scaffolding, but is approximately 48 m long and 6 m wide.
Senior Iranian officials have previously said that it is building a new class of 500 tonne submarines called the Fateh, although the timeline appears to have slipped repeatedly. In April, Deputy Defence Minister for Industrial and Research Affairs Mohammad Eslami said: "The first Iranian 500 tonne submarine will be unveiled by 31 Mordad [22 August 2013]."
Iran may now be planning to unveil the new submarines during its Navy Day, which is held on 28 November to mark a naval victory over Iraq in 1980.
The launch of the Fateh-class represents a major milestone for Iran's naval industry. The largest submarine previously produced by Iran was the 29 m Ghadir class. While the Ghadir was widely presumed to be based on a North Korean design, the new Fateh class is significantly bigger than the largest submarine known to be produced by the North Koreans: the 39 m K-300 (Sang-O II) class.

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