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IRAN has converted a containership into a warship as part of Tehran's efforts to expand its naval presence, reports Buenos Aires Zona Militar.

According to Iran International, a website run by Iranian opposition groups in London, an Iranian warship has crossed the equator into the Southern Hemisphere for the first time amid an Iran-backed blockade of the Red Sea, as reported by Tehran media. The IRGC-affiliated Tasnim news agency announced that the SHAHID MAHDAWI , a containership turned warship, crossed the equator, marking a historic moment for Iran's navy.
Officially joining the IRGC Navy in March 2023, the vessel weighs over 2,100 tons and measures 240 metres in length and 27 metres in width.

In February, the IRGC conducted a test launch of medium-range missiles from the SHAHID MAHDAWI, claiming these missiles could strike targets up to 1,700 kilometers (1,050 miles) away. This launch marked the first time Iran sent a naval ship on such a long-range mission.The presence of this heavily armed vessel raises regional security concerns, particularly given Iran's recent hijackings in the Strait of Hormuz, military activities in the Gulf of Oman, and support for the Yemeni Houthis, who have been blockading the Red Sea region since November.