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Well, That’s One Way To Tow a 2,300-Ton Submarine

Well, That’s One Way To Tow a 2,300-Ton Submarine

A new video from Iran shows a surreal scene. Iran is towing a giant attack submarine overland by truck, reportedly from a shipyard back to the sprawling Iranian naval base of Bandar Abbas. The sub is one of three purchased from the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

The video shows a Russian Kilo-class (Project 877EKM), one of three delivered to Iran between 1991 and 1996. Kilo-class submarines are designed to operate closer to shore than traditional, ocean-ranging submarines, and the submarines are operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIAN) to cover the mouth of the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, and even venture into the Indian Ocean. Iran’s submarine fleet is designed to give the country the ability to attack enemy shipping, including targets as large as American aircraft carriers.

Built at the United Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg, Russia, the subs displace 2,325 tons surfaced, are 238 feet long, 32 feet high, and 19.6 feet wide. Each is equipped with six, 21-inch torpedo tubes capable of firing a variety of Soviet/Russian wire-guided, wake-homing, or acoustic-homing torpedoes. The submarines are also capable of laying sea mines.

The submarine appears to be up on two identical sets of large, custom-built chocks and wheels. Each set appears to have about 22 wheels on each side, for a grand total of 88 wheels. That’s about 26 tons of sub per wheel—a lot of weight. The sub is being towed by at least two large cargo trucks daisy chained together though it seems very likely there are many more just outside of the shot.

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