Every year, Tehran commemorates the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq War with "Sacred Defense Week," when it's become a tradition to theatrically unveil the country's newest, most sophisticated weaponry. Western military analysts, though, are often more amused than impressed.
As the blog War Is Boring observes, "Tehran is eager to project an image of strength. But that doesn't mean all of this new weaponry is any good." One of the highlights from this year's ceremonies was this new "cutting edge" crowd control vehicle (above) called Rategh, which translates as "opener." It's basically a civilian bus with armor plates, loudspeakers and a small plow to clear obstacles during urban protests. The image has been making the rounds on Twitter, where it's been described as a "Batmobile on crack" and "the evil twin of Harry Potter's Knight Bus."
Personally, I think it looks like a stretch limo for a post-apocalyptic warlord.
Another favorite from previous Sacred Defense Week celebrations were the fearsome flying speedboats of death, the Bavar 2 ("confidence"). This fleet of periwinkle-colored seaplanes each boasted a machine gun and a camera.
As one analyst noted:
The Bavar 2 has been accused of being very "kit," as in it looks like a watercraft you could have ordered online and assembled yourself. Just do a Google image search for "hoverwing" and you'll see many craft like it.
There's also the big question of just how stealthy it is. Iranian officials claims that its hull makes it undetectable by radar, though videos of the thing flying show that it's pretty damn loud. The blue paint job probably works well enough — the Bavar 2 doesn't fly high enough for its red underbelly to ever really factor in — it really mostly skims above the water. Still, it looks like something out of an old sci-fi cartoon, or like the Bavar 2 belongs in a water park.
Don't write it off too quickly, though. Intelligence reports indicate that the Bavar 3 will be equipped with a cup holder.