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HMS Diamond shoots down Houthi missile in Red Sea

HMS Diamond shoots down a missile fired by Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen over the Gulf of Aden using its Sea Viper missile system – the first time a Royal Navy warship has intercepted a missile in combat since 1991. (Royal Navy/Crown Copyright)

The UK Royal Navy's (RN's) Daring (Type 45)-class destroyer HMS Diamond (D 34) has successfully engaged an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) launched by Yemen-based Ansar Allah (commonly known as Houthi) rebels targeting a merchant ship in the Gulf of Aden, the service confirmed on 25 April.

During the incident, which took place around 1151 h local time (Sanaa time) on 24 April, Diamond used its Sea Viper anti-air guided weapon system to shoot down the missile, the navy said. According to a US Central Command (CENTCOM) statement issued on 25 April, the missile was likely targeting the US-flagged, owned, and operated merchant vessel MV Yorktown, which has 18 US and four Greek crew members onboard.

No injuries or damage was sustained by the ship or its crew, CENTCOM said.

Diamond is currently on its second deployment in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden with the US-led multinational task force Operation ‘Prosperity Guardian', which was launched in December 2023 to protect merchant vessels from Houthi attacks and ensure freedom of navigation in the region. The ship's deployment forms 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.

Diamond returned to the Red Sea to resume operations with ‘Prosperity Guardian' in March, following a period of maintenance and resupply in Gibraltar in February. During its

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