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US Navy secretary calls for funds to replenish weapons stocks after defence against Iranian attacks

Red Sea operations have depleted inventories of USN missiles, such as SM-6s, being shown fired here. (US Navy)

After providing defence against recent Iranian missile and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks – as well as other attacks in or near the Red Sea – the US Navy (USN) needs funding to restock its weapons inventory, USN Secretary Carlos Del Toro testified on 16 April during a Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC) hearing on navy posture.

Estimating that the navy has defended against about 130 attacks in recent months, Del Toro said, “Prior to the [Iranian] attack we had this weekend, we were closely approaching USD1 billion [used] for munitions. We need to pay that back through the supplemental [funding bill], which Congress can pass this weekend.”

“We've been flying SM [Standard Missile]-2s, SM-6s and SM-3s over the weekend for threats from Iran,” he added.

US Central Command (CENTCOM) forces, supported by US European Command destroyers, successfully engaged and destroyed more than 80 one-way attack (OWA) UAVs and at least six ballistic missiles intended to strike Israel from Iran and Yemen on 13 April and the morning of 14 April, CENTCOM said in a public release.

Assets destroyed included a ballistic missile on its launcher vehicle and seven UAVs on the ground in Iranian-backed Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen prior to their launch, CENTCOM said.

On 14 April CENTCOM forces successfully destroyed four UAVs in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen in self-defence between 0400 h and 2115 h local time, CENTCOM added.

In his written testimony to the SAC, Del Toro cited some platforms and systems used in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden operations – ships outfitted with the Aegis Combat System and aircraft carrier USS Dwight D Eisenhower

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