Thursday, February 22, 2024

US Navy Sea Hawks sink Houthi boats in the Red Sea

The U.S. Central Command announced on Monday that Navy MH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters have sunk Iran-backed Houthi boats in the Red Sea.

According to the Command, on December 31 at 6:30 am Sanaa time, the container ship MAERSK HANGZHOU issued a distress call, reporting a brazen attack by four Iranian-backed Houthi small boats.

Originating from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen, the boats aggressively targeted the MAERSK HANGZHOU, employing crew-served and small arms weapons while attempting to board the vessel, dangerously closing within 20 meters.

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In response to this life-threatening situation, an embarked security team on the MAERSK HANGZHOU engaged the assailants in defense. U.S. Navy helicopters hailing from the USS EISENHOWER (CVN 69) and GRAVELY (DDG 107) swiftly arrived at the scene upon the distress call. Despite issuing verbal warnings, the small boats brazenly fired upon the U.S. helicopters with onboard crew-served weapons and small arms.

In an act of self-defense, the U.S. Navy helicopters retaliated, effectively neutralizing three of the four small boats, resulting in the demise of their crews. The remaining boat fled the area, leaving no harm to U.S. personnel or equipment.

This remarkable engagement showcased the MH-60S/R Sea Hawk helicopters’ evolved capabilities, now proven as potent anti-surface warfare platforms capable of neutralizing threats posed by small boats in maritime settings.

Preceding this confrontation, the USS Gravely intercepted two anti-ship ballistic missiles aimed at the MAERSK HANGZHOU during an assault in the Southern Red Sea.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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