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HMS Diamond shoots down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen – the first time a Royal Navy warship has intercepted a missile in combat since 1991.

HMS Diamond has shot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen – the first time a Royal Navy warship has intercepted a missile in combat since 1991.

Royal Navy Shoots Down Houthi Ballistic Missile Over Gulf of Aden

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 3118
April 25, 2024

The Royal Navy warship HMS Diamond successfully shot down an anti-ship ballistic missile targeting a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden, marking the first time a Royal Navy warship has intercepted a missile in combat since 1991.

The merchant vessel targeted appears to be the U.S.-flagged MV Maersk Yorktown.

The HMS Diamond is currently deployed to deter Iranian-backed Houthi attacks and ensure safe navigation for merchant vessels. The Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer used its Sea Viper missile system to intercept the missile.

The action is part of the UK’s broader response to Houthi attacks, which includes intercepting weapon-smuggling, imposing sanctions, and conducting targeted strikes.

The Commanding Officer, Commander Evans RN and Sub Lt James looking at the missile impact smoke in the sky.
The Commanding Officer, Commander Evans RN and Sub Lt James looking at the missile impact over the HMS Diamond. Royal Navy Photo

“I’m immensely proud of the ship’s company, whose professionalism meant they were able to react in a split second to defeat the threat today. As ever, Diamond is ready to protect sea-farers and ensure the freedom of the seas,” said Commander Peter Evans, Commanding Officer of HMS Diamond.

The U.S. Central Command on Wednesday said a coalition vessel shot down a anti-ship ballistic missile likely targeting the Maersk Yorktown, a U.S.-flagged, owned, and operated vessel with 18 U.S. and four Greek crew members. There were no injuries or damage reported by any of the vessels.

HMS Diamond shoots down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen. Photo courtesy UK Royal Navy
HMS Diamond shoots down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen. Photo courtesy UK Royal Navy

HMS Diamond has been operating in the region since March after taking over for the HMS Richmond, which successfully thwarted a Houthi drone attack in the southern Red Sea by shooting down two attack drones with Sea Ceptor missiles. It previously operated in the region in December and January, during which it was attacked three times by Houthi rebels. It successfully destroyed nine drones using its Sea Viper missile system and guns.

The ship is armed with Sea Viper missiles, Phalanx machine guns that can fire over 3,000 rounds a minute, and 30mm cannons on each side. The 30mm cannon has been successfully used to shoot down a Houthi drone.

“I want to thank the brave crew of HMS Diamond for her vital role in saving innocent lives and protecting international shipping from illegal Houthi attacks,” said Defence Secretary Grant Shapps. “The UK continues to be at the forefront of the international response to the Iranian-backed Houthis’ dangerous attacks on commercial vessels, which have claimed the lives of international mariners.”

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