Ah contraire mon frere, Iran has been building its own Frigates for awhile now. OK, it is a modified and updated design based on Vosper Mk.V frigate, but it is locally produced.
The news keeps calling it a Destroyer but the Shahid Qandi seems to actually be the second produced of four planned Moudge class Frigates. Apparently it was also renamed Alvand after a mountain chain in Iran.
7th December 2003
Oh, I read that they sent an older frigate through the Suez channel.
Maybe I'm wrong, but look at this picture showing the ship in question passing the canal. It doesn't seem to have a helicopter pad at the stern but instead a bunch of guns and launchers.
This a picture of the old Vosper class frigates, which have since been modified by Iran, from wikipedia.
And this video (complete with sazzy Persian music) seems to show the new Moudge class frigate, which does have a helicopter pad. Not sure if they put a better radar on that new frigate.
It is strange that some websites report the name Shahid Qandi. Google shows a lot of pictures of that Alvand class frigate with the hull number of the lead ship if you google for Shahid.
From what I've read they've given low numbers (I got two in one place), I don't think it's meant as much a 'show of force' as it is in relationship to Syria and the world's division over that area. Today's docking at the Tartus base in Syria shows as much, and it mirrors what the Russians also did a few weeks back. It's becoming a flashpoint that is arguably going to be used by the United States and others to advance their regional agenda, and that invariably will involve more pain for the Iranian government.
The nightmare scenario that some commentators thought, and what An also said- 'Im betting this is a "Hi Neighbor!" tour with stopovers for Hamas, Egypt, and Turley,' couldn't have been further from the truth and once again betrays a monolithic thinking of the way politics work in the Middle-East with respect to Israel.