Red Sea: The Languedoc multi-mission frigate shot down two hostile drones launched from Yemen


Red Sea: The Languedoc multi-mission frigate shot down two hostile drones launched from Yemen

In recent weeks, several missiles and drones, launched from areas controlled by the Houthi rebels (backed by Iran) in Yemen, have been intercepted and destroyed by US Navy “destroyers” deployed in the Red Sea. If, for the most part, these attacks targeted the south of Israel as well as cargo ships and oil tankers linked to Israeli interests, it cannot be excluded that some of them could have targeted them knowingly, especially since, both in Iraq and in Syria, militias affiliated with Tehran regularly attack American military assets.

However, the Pentagon is not affirmative… However, he added on December 4, such attacks “represent a direct threat to international trade and maritime security.”

However, on December 9, the Houthis amplified their threats, claiming that if “Gaza does not receive the food and medicine it needs, all ships in the Red Sea bound for Israeli ports, regardless of their nationality, will become a target.

It is in this context that after having integrated the European initiative EMASoH (European-led Maritime Awareness in the Straight of Ormuz – operation Agenor) on December 1, after a stopover in the United Arab Emirates, the multi-mission frigate (FREMM) Languedoc shot down two drones launched from Yemen.

“On December 9, FREMM Languedoc (…) shot down two drones which were heading straight towards it, coming from the coast of Yemen. The interception and destruction of these two distinct threats took place around 9:30 p.m. then around 11:30 p.m. (French time) 110 km from the coast of Yemen, near Al Hodeida,” indicated the army general staff ( EMA). And added that the frigate “operates in the Red Sea under the national chain of command”.

This incident echoes comments made by Admiral Christophe Prazuck, then Chief of Staff of the French Navy (CEMM), in December 2017. “I think we are not far from the day when an anti-ship missile will be fired against a French building”, he had in fact “prophesized”, during a parliamentary hearing.

The EMA did not specify the means used to shoot down these two drones (Samad-3?). As a reminder, in addition to its anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare and land strike capabilities, a multi-mission frigate is equipped with a 76 mm turret, two 20 mm remote-controlled cannons and, above all, 16 Aster 15 . surface-to-air missiles in silos (SYLVER A-43) which, coupled with the Herakles multifunction radar, capable of detecting and tracking up to 400 maritime and air targets, can intercept any aircraft (plane, drone and missile ). cruise) representing a threat up to more than 30 km away and at 13 km altitude.

That said, it cannot be excluded that FREMM Languedoc used its 76 mm cannon to shoot down these two drones.

Red Sea: The Languedoc multi-mission frigate shot down two hostile drones launched from Yemen - 1

Indeed, during an exercise carried out in the Bay of Biscay in September 2022, with the participation of the Landes Test Center (CEL) of the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA), FREMM Bretagne launched an Aster 15 (photo) to destroy a first “simulated” missile and used its 76 mm cannon to “face” the second. “Electromagnetic decoys having been deployed simultaneously,” the French Navy then indicated.

It now remains to be seen what the diplomatic and military consequences of this incident will be, the intentional nature of which is strongly suggested by the EMA…

On December 7, White House Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer accused Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps of providing assistance to the Houthis in “planning and carrying out missile and drone attacks against Israel and ships in the Red Sea.

gn world

Red Sea: The Languedoc multi-mission frigate shot down two hostile drones launched from Yemen - 3

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Jack Bryant

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