F/A-18s Continue To Counter Houthis’ Attacks In The Red Sea


Super Hornet Houthi
An F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter jet, attached to the “Rampagers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83, takes off from the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) in the Arabian Gulf Nov. 29, 2023.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mo Bourdi)

Super Hornets from the USS Eisenhower worked with Arleigh-Burke class destroyers and the UK’s HMS Diamond to shoot down multiple weapons.

The U.S. Central Command disclosed today that in the evening of Jan.9, 2024, at approximately 9:15 p.m. (Sanaa time), US and British assets successfully countered a new complex attack of the Iranian-backed Houthis, without injuries or damages reported. The command says this is the 26th Houthi attack on commercial shipping lanes in the Red Sea since Nov. 19, 2023, and according to the UK this is also the largest attack to date.

Once again, the F/A-18 Super Hornets of the USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group intervened and worked alongside the Arleigh-Burke class guided missile destroyers USS Gravely, USS Laboon, USS Mason and the Royal Navy’s Type 45 guided missile destroyer HMS Diamond. As a result of this combined effort, 18 one-way attack UAVs, two anti-ship cruise missiles and one anti-ship ballistic missile were shot down.

No other details were released by CENTCOM, however it is interesting to note that some attacks were aimed at the HMS Diamond and that its guns were also used to shoot down the threats. The statement from UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, in fact, reads: “Deploying Sea Viper missiles and guns, Diamond destroyed multiple attack drones heading for her and commercial shipping in the area, with no injuries or damages sustained to Diamond or her crew”.

This is the second instance where Super Hornets were called in to counter the Houthis attacks, after the first one on Dec.26, 2023. Few days later, on Dec. 31, MH-60S and MH-60R helicopters from the USS Eisenhower and USS Gravely also saw action, sinking three Houthis small boats who fired at the helicopters with crew served weapons and small arms while they were responding to a distress call from a container ship.

It is possible that Houthis might face retaliatory strikes against the launch sites in the immediate future. In fact, on Jan. 3, 14 countries, including the U.S, issued a joint statement stating: “The Houthis will bear the responsibility for the consequences should they continue to threaten lives, the global economy, or the free flow of commerce in the region’s critical waterways.”

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About Stefano D’Urso
Stefano D’Urso is a freelance journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he’s also studying to achieve a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Electronic Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT techniques applied to the world of military operations and current conflicts are among his areas of expertise.

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