skip to main content

Royal Navy intercepts Iranian ballistic missile components

The 5th Fleet identified some of the recovered items as a set of jet vanes for a ballistic missile at the front, three impact sensor caps for ballistic missiles on top of the black box, and Iranian copies of the Kornet anti-tank missile at the rear. There also appears to be an actuator for a jet vane on the right and possibly an actuation control system on the left. (US 5th Fleet/US Naval Forces Central Command)

Ballistic missile components have been found for the first time in an Iranian weapons shipment that was presumably heading to Yemen when it was intercepted.

The UK Royal Navy announced on 2 March that the shipment was found on a small vessel that was spotted in the Gulf of Oman by a US unmanned aircraft, and intercepted by the Royal Marines operating from the frigate HMS Lancaster after a high-speed chase.

“The haul included Iranian versions of Russian 9M133 Kornet anti-tank guided missiles – known in Iran as Dehlavieh – and medium-range ballistic missile components,” it said.

In a separate statement, the UK government said the smuggling vessel was heading south from Iran when it was spotted on 23 February, and made a failed attempt to evade its pursuers by heading towards Iranian territorial waters.

The US Navy's 5th Fleet quoted its commander, Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, as saying the seizure was “yet another example of Iran's increasing malign maritime activity across the region”.

It released images that identified the components found by the Royal Navy as three ‘impact sensor covers' that go on the noses of ballistic missiles and four jet vanes, the number normally fitted to a ‘Scud'-type ballistic missile to make course corrections by directing its exhaust.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...