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Iran to replicate Bladerunner 51 for missile launching

Iran says it will mass-produce replicas of what is believed to be the world’s fastest boat, the Bladerunner 51

Bradstone Challenger

An Iranian commander has told how his navy is planning to replicate the British-built Bladerunner 51 to help build the country's military presence in the Strait of Hormuz.

According to International news website AFP, Gen Ali Fadavi of the Revolutionary Guards' Navy, said, "The Bladerunner is a British ship that holds the world speed record. We got a copy (on which) we made some changes so it can launch missiles and torpedoes."

Gen Ali Fadavi is believed to have made the comments at a ceremony marking the delivery of 12 other speedboats equipped with missiles and torpedos and he said the Revolutionary Guards would be equipped with "many" of the 51s within a year.

The statement comes over a year after it was revealed that Iran had purchased the Bladerunner 51, Bradstone Challenger, which shot to fame in 2005 by rounding Britain in just over 27 hours, at an average speed of 63.5mph.

Jeremy Watts, director of Surrey-based Ice Marine, which manufactures the boats, said, "We're a bit bewildered that one of our products is the focus of an international incident after Iran managed to acquire one through smoke-screen tactics."

Watts said the boat was based in the Med and being used as a luxury tender for a yacht when it was acquired by a South African dealer a year ago who said it was going to a wealthy man in Mozambique.

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