After being targeted by two missile launches off the coast of Yemen, the USS Mason, a guided missile destroyer, fired two missiles in defence.
The USS Mason fired missiles defending itself and the USS Ponce, an amphibious dock ship, after it detected inbound cruise missiles presumably fired from Houthi militants on shore in Yemen.
This follows an October 1 incident where a former US Navy ship, the United Arab Emirates’ HSV Swift, sustained severe damages from a guided missile fired from Yemen. In the case of the HSV Swift, the Houthis claimed responsibility.
The Mason launched two Standard Missile-2s (SM-2s) and a Enhanced Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) to intercept the two inbound missiles, also deploying a Nulka-class anti-ship decoy, at around 7 pm local time, sources told USNI News.
While the Mason did fire defensive missiles and the incoming missiles didn’t hit their target, it’s not clear if the SM-2s did their job, or if the incoming missile, likely a 1990s vintage Chinese-made cruise missile supplied to Houthi militants by Iran, simply sputtered out and hit the water of its own accord.
The Pentagon confirmed to Business Insider that they were investigating the incident at sea, but would not confirm the firing of the SM-2 missiles.
Instead, the Pentagon only said that “defensive countermeasures” had been taken.
SM-2s, in service with the US Navy for more than 20 years, cost nearly $1 million each.
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