Sea Platforms

More attacks on naval vessels in Red Sea revealed

24 May 2018
The status of the Saudi patrol ship Khalid (519), seen here during a joint exercise with the Pakistan Navy in February, is unclear following an attack on 24 March. Source: Saudi Press Agency

Key Points

  • There have been three attacks on naval vessels in the Red Sea that the Saudi-led coalition has not reported.
  • The fate of two vessels is unclear, but a UAE minehunter was not lost.

At least four Saudi-led coalition naval vessels have been attacked in the southern Red Sea since June 2017, information from a multinational naval source has revealed.

The information seen by Jane’s showed the approximate locations of more than 10 attacks on both naval and civilian vessels in the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE’s) logistics ship Swift was hit by an anti-ship missile launched by the Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (the Houthis) on 1 October 2016.

The Saudi-led coalition has acknowledged only one successful attack on its naval vessels since then: the 30 January 2017 incident in which the Saudi frigate Al-Madinah was hit by a remotely controlled boat bomb.

The information showed that a second Saudi vessel, the Al-Saddiq-class patrol ship Khalid , was attacked on the Eritrean side of the Red Sea shipping lane on 24 March 2018. Al-Khaznah , one of the UAE Navy’s 62 m landing ships, was attacked close to the Yemeni port of Al-Mukha (Mocha) on 13 June 2017 and one of its two Frankenthal-class minehunters was attacked in the same area on 29 July 2017.

The date of the latter incident corresponds with a rebel claim that an Emirati warship had been attacked with a “suitable weapon” off the coast of Al-Mukha. The coalition reported on the same day that the rebels had targeted Al-Mukha’s port with a remotely controlled bomb boat, but only hit the pier, causing no casualties.

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