Bavar 2 is described as a Ground Effect Vehicle, also known as ekranoplan, sea skimmer, or Wing-In-Ground vehicle.

With its available resources, Iran has improved and developed many unique weapons based on old platforms, for example the F-14 Tomcat fighter jet modified to be compatible with Russian missiles, homemade mini-submarines, and remanufactured Cold War jets. In 2006, Iran introduced a special flying boat, the Bavar 2, and in 2010 Tehran proudly announced it had three squadrons serving in the Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy. This is a unique Iranian approach to asymmetric warfare.

Bavar 2 is described as a Ground Effect Vehicle, also known as ekranoplan, sea skimmer, or Wing-In-Ground vehicle. Basically, these are designed to fly at very low altitudes by capitalizing on “ground effect,” the phenomenon in which wing surfaces encounter less drag the closer they are to the surface. After generating lift through speed during takeoff, vehicles can stay airborne as long as they remain within that low-altitude envelope. This makes them more applicable to maritime operations.

The Bavar 2 is designed to have a small radar signature, and therefore be difficult to track on radar, to be able to remain undetected while carrying out patrol missions. The vehicle can be equipped with different kinds of weapons including locally produced rockets and missiles. Because they ride on a cushion of air generated between their wings and the water’s surface and don’t actually fly, as such, surface-effect vehicles (SEVs) are able to sustain payloads approximately three times the weight of those carried by equivalent-sized airplanes.

The Soviets were the first to deploy functional GEVs in the 1970s and 1980s, including a few huge Lun-class ekranoplans weighing four hundred tons that could lug huge carrier-killing cruise missiles, and an even larger prototype dubbed the Caspian Sea Monster. Iranian engineers took a very different tack with the Bavar-2. The small one- or two-man boats appear to be intended for scouting purposes. The little vehicles can skim meters above the surface at around a hundred knots (115 miles per hour). They are equipped with night-vision goggles, cameras and real-time datalinks.

The revealed images show that the Bavar 2 is quite compact in size, similar to a light fighter. The little vehicles probably aren’t intended to strike the enemy directly, but instead would enable Iran’s asymmetric naval strategy to shut down the Strait of Hormuz in the event of a new conflict in the Persian Gulf. The Bavar-2s would skim ahead, acquire targeting data on enemy warships, and relay that information to speedy missile boats. Nonetheless, the little vehicles can skim at very low altitudes to delay radar detection from warships.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here