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HMS Diamond Shoots Down Houthi Missile

Library image from January 2024 on the bridge of HMS Diamond taken as it launches its Sea Viper missiles [Crown Copyright]

Royal Navy warship HMS Diamond has shot down a missile in the Gulf of Aden fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen.

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News Release, Whitehall, Friday 26 April 2024: HMS Diamond has shot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen. The crew of the Royal Navy warship used her world-class Sea Viper missile system to shoot down the missile, which was targeting a merchant vessel, in the Gulf of Aden yesterday (Wednesday).

HMS Diamond is currently deployed in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden to deter Houthi attacks, ensure freedom of navigation, and make international waters safer and more secure for merchant vessels. This deployment is part of the UK’s broader response to Houthi attacks, which has also included intercepting weapon-smuggling to Yemen, imposing sanctions on Houthi members and conducting proportionate and targeted strikes against Houthi military targets.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: “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.

“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.”

HMS Diamond has operated in the region since March, having taken over from HMS Richmond. During her deployment, HMS Richmond successfully repelled a Houthi drone attack in the southern Red Sea, shooting down two attack drones using Sea Ceptor missiles. HMS Diamond previously operated in the region in December and January, maintaining a near constant presence in the ‘high threat area’ of the Red Sea. The destroyer came under fire in three separate attacks by Houthi rebels, successfully destroying nine drones using her world-class Sea Viper missile system and guns. The ship is equipped with Sea Viper missiles as well as Phalanx machine guns and 30mm cannons on each side of the ship. The Phalanx can fire more than 3,000 rounds a minute. The crew have also used the 30mm cannon to successfully shoot down a Houthi drone.

The UK remains committed to deterring the Houthis from their indiscriminate attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The Houthis’ illegal attacks have claimed the lives of international mariners and continue to harm the global economy and undermine the stability and security of Yemen.

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