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.
Houthi Attack on International Shipping
On Jan. 9, at approximately 9:15 p.m. (Sanaa time), Iranian-backed Houthis launched a complex attack of Iranian designed one-way attack UAVs (OWA UAVs), anti-ship cruise missiles, and an anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled… pic.twitter.com/KWPRidwiWI
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) January 10, 2024
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”.
HMS DIAMOND, along with US warships, has repelled the largest attack by the Iranian-backed Houthis in the Red Sea to date.
Destroying multiple attack drones with her guns and sea viper missiles. pic.twitter.com/kFjFKj6TM6
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) January 10, 2024
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.
Iranian-backed Houthi small boats attack merchant vessel and U.S. Navy helicopters in Southern Red Sea
On Dec. 31 at 6:30am (Sanaa time) the container ship MAERSK HANGZHOU issued a second distress call in less than 24 hours reporting being under attack by four Iranian-backed… pic.twitter.com/pj8NAzjbVF
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) December 31, 2023
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.”