Iranian warships Makran and Sahand sailed in Russia.
Photo: Reuters, MVPhotos
Two Iranian warships are sailing in the Baltic Sea.
The ships are believed to be en route to Russia, where they are likely to take part in a large naval parade in St. Petersburg on Sunday.
CNN reported, among other things.
Another of the ships is a former oil tanker of more than 200 meters called Makran, which has been commissioned by the armed forces.
Another ship is a frigate called Sahand.
According to Commander Ville Vänskä, the chief teacher of naval studies at the National Defense College, it is exceptional that Iranian military ships are sailing this far.
Iran, he said, has not made long-distance sailing in the past.
The U.S. Department of Defense has been monitoring the ships for about two months.
The ships were initially feared to be on their way to Venezuela.
The matter worried the United States, which does not want Iranian weapons in its neighborhood.
However, the ships did not even go to Venezuela, but left Africa after circling north towards Europe.
According to sources in the U.S. administration, Venezuela decided not to receive the ships because of U.S. diplomatic pressure.
- I am inclined to believe the explanation that the ship was on its way to Venezuela, but when there came a boom against them, they will participate in the celebrations of the Russian Navy in order to preserve their faces, Vänskä commented.
The Russian and Iranian navies have cooperated before.
According to Vänskä, for example, last year the Russians practiced together with the Iranians in the Caspian Sea.
An oil tanker called Makran, deployed by the Iranian armed forces.
Photo: Wana News Agency / Reuters
Vänskä estimates that the ships will pass the Gulf of Finland on Saturday morning along the international area.
- About thirty kilometers south of Kauppatori, Vänskä describes the distance of the ships' route from Helsinki.
According to Henrik Gahmberg, Communications Specialist at the General Staff of the Defense Forces, the passage of ships in the Gulf of Finland does not cause more special measures in the Defense Forces.
"Ships travel in international waters like other ships," Gahmberg commented.
The Navy ship went to identify the ships, which, according to Gahmberg, is by no means unusual.
According to Vänskä, Makran is more interesting than ships, as it is slightly different from the usual.
- It's an old oil tanker with a helicopter cover installed.
So it is not a warship per se.
According to Vänskä, it has been rumored that the ship would have electronic warfare capabilities, but he himself has not noticed any structures suggesting it in the pictures.
On satellite deck, satellite images taken in the spring showed seven attack boats that Iran often uses in its Gulf operations.
Vänskä thinks that Makran will operate in maintenance mode and provide food, fuel and water for the frigate to be able to sail such a long distance.
- Iran does not have the right bases to replenish water and fuel.
If Makran were to be used as a support ship in battle, Vänskä would need it around a large battle division.
Iranian Sahand frigate.
Photo: MORTEZA NIKOUBAZL / Sipa Press / MVPhotos
The frigate Sahand, on the other hand, is the newest ship in the Iranian navy.
It was completed in 2012.
- The vessel is of a suitable size for the conditions of the Gulf.
It is quite short, 95 meters long and has a draft of about 2,500 tons.
Quite qualified modern warship.
The ship has cannon armor for anti-aircraft missiles and air defense.
In addition, the ship is capable of electronic warfare.