Houthis Claim First Launch of Hypersonic Missile Targeting MSC Ship

Houthis Claim First Launch of Hypersonic Missile Targeting MSC Ship - Merchant Navy Info - News

The Houthis military and spokesperson claim that they launched a hypersonic missile for the first time to target an MSC containership far out in the Gulf of Aden. This comes after several days of increased activity and additional claims that the militants are also launching a new, faster, and sleeker attack boat.

The Houthi spokesperson Yahya Saree revealed the identity of the missile that targeted the Israeli ship MSC Sarah V in the Arabian Sea for the first time. He said that the missile possesses advanced technology, is accurate in hitting, and reaches long ranges because it is locally made.

Observers are raising new concerns based on the distance of the reported attack. The MSC Sarah V (67,795 dwt registered in Liberia) was 280 miles southeast of Nishtun, in eastern Yemen near Oman. The vessel sailed on Monday near Yemen’s Socotra Island, bound for Abu Dhabi. While the Houthis have always claimed a direct hit, the U.K. Maritime Trade Organizations said it received a report from the master of a “proximity” explosion. They said there were no injuries or damage, and the vessel was proceeding.

The Houthis have previously staged a few long-range attacks, but most are closer to the mainland of Yemen. In April, they targeted the MSC Orion, and while reports varied on the position, it was set between 300 and 400 nautical miles from Yemen.

Houthi Claim Second Remote

In March, media reports stated that the Houthis had initiated the manufacturing of their hypersonic missile, which they had tested with a Mach 8 capability. The reports said it would be used to threaten shipping further into the Indian Ocean. There were also reports that Iran was providing the Houthis with new missile capabilities. The Houthi military is releasing pictures and videos of the missile they named Hatem 2.

 Last week, Houthis also showed videos of a purported new “piloted military boat” that they said was tested for the first time. Calling it the Tufan 1, they claimed it is capable of 35 knots, powered by an outboard motor, and transports 330 pounds of explosives. From the videos and pictures, it appears to be smaller, more agile, and capable of cutting through the waves.

The first successful remote-controlled boat attack, which was against the Tutor last month, showed a much cruder wood fishing boat. The Tufan appears to be a fiberglass or composite boat, which the claims say is more lethal. 

The Houthis claimed to have deployed a second remote boat this week in a second attack on the Transworld Navigator, a Liberia-registered 178,897 dwt bulker. Stealth Maritime of Greece manages the company, which has been accused of violating the Houthis’ ban on Israeli ports. A report on June 22 indicated that the vessel was targeted in the Red Sea. The next day, a statement revealed that the vessel was attacked by an unmanned boat. Philippine officials say they plan to repatriate the crew when the vessel reaches the Suez.

Did Houthis Strike Ships?

The Houthis launched a new wave of attacks today, claiming to have targeted the MSC Manzanillo (72,717 dwt, registered in Portugal) while it was docked in Haifa Over the weekend, the Houthis claimed to have targeted four vessels in Haifa and the Shorthorn Express, a Vroom livestock carrier registered in Luxembourg while it was sailing in the Mediterranean. Other purported attacks included the Stolt Sequoia (37,620 dwt), a Liberia-registered product tanker bound for the UAE. Stolt denies the attack. The Joint Maritime Information Center also reported explosions near the Lila Lisbon, a St. Kitts-Nevis flagged bulker.

The U.K. and U.S. monitoring efforts recorded a series of attacks but asserted that none of them hit specific ships. They have cited multiple reports of explosions in the water coming from ship masters operating in the region.

The Houthis today also claimed to have attached the southern port city of Eilat in Israel. Today, someone targeted the port multiple times. Israelis said the drones launched toward the port fell short in the water. They said that none of the drones entered Israeli territory.

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