The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations agency advised mariners to exercise extreme caution in the area.

The Iran-aligned Houthi movement that controls northern Yemen has hijacked a United Arab Emirates-flagged cargo vessel.

The ship was heading to the Saudi port of Jizan, just north of Yemen, from the Yemeni Red Sea island of Socotra when it was attacked just before midnight on Sunday, Saudi state news agency SPA reported, quoting coalition spokesman Brigadier General Turki al-Malki.

The UKMTO notice reads:

“REF: WARNING 001/JAN/2022 – Category: Attack
On the 02 January 2022 at 2150UTC, UKMTO has received reports of an attack on an MV in position 1513.0N 04212.0E (Approx. 23 NM West of Ras Isa Marine Terminal). Investigations ongoing.”

The UKMTO put the vessel’s position at approximately 23 nautical miles west of Ras Isa oil terminal on the Red Sea.

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Paul.P
Paul.P
16 days ago

Meanwhile Spey and Tamar are sunbathing in Hawaii?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

HMS Montrose is nearby if needed. Or has she left for home?

Paul.P
Paul.P
15 days ago

I suspect Montrose is committed to shepherding vessels through the straits of Hormuz. I think this highlights a few questions. I know there are combined task force ships from many nations engaged in anti piracy duties off Somalia. Do these forces consider Houthi attacks to be within their rules of engagement? If not and in any case don’t we need another RN constabulary vessel off the Horn of Africa? Secondly, aren’t we with 2 OPVs over egging the ‘indo pacific’ anti.Chinese politics at the expense of the ME and East Africa where there are real threats today? And thirdly, even… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Paul.P
David Steeper
David Steeper
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Saudi has a pretty well equipped navy I’d be asking them what they’re doing. Or not doing.

Paul.P
Paul.P
15 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Very valid point.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Yes, why is it always the western powers who must step up. We have a plenty of presence in the region already, not much naval wise, but something. Is UAE or anyone else local doing anything.

If not, where do we send the bill? I’d keep the Rivers doing what they are doing myself.

Marius
Marius
15 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Indeed!

Daveyb
Daveyb
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

No, none of our OPVs are equipped to deal or counter a Houti attack. They have direct access to Iranian anti-ship missiles like the Noor, which is a knock off copy of the Chinese C802, which is itself a reverse engineered copy of an Exocet. The Houtis have shown that they will use anything in the Iranian arsenal.

As others have suggested, it should have been the Saudis protecting this ship. They should have known that an attack is probable, due to past incidents in recent years.

Paul.P
Paul.P
15 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

My question re the Rivers was rhetorical of course. The consensus seems to be this issue is one for the Saudis. I must admit that thought had not occurred to me but it having surfaced in debate I tend to agree.

Pete
Pete
14 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Wouldn’t adding 40mm with 3p ammunition and decoys provide sufficient protection to allow the Rivers to patrol semi hostile waters (at a time when frigates are in short supply) or are the radars onboard inadequate to allow accurate engagement ? They are otherwise an awful lot of vessel confined to tourist destinations.

Daveyb
Daveyb
13 days ago
Reply to  Pete

The Batch 2s use the Terma Scanter 4103 X-band radar. This is described as a 2D radar, which normally means range and bearing only. However, Terma have stated that it is an air and surface search radar. Which can detect aircraft up to 35,000ft and can be linked into a fire control system (which on the Batch 2s its not!) The radar uses an advanced moving target indication (MTI) and processing to separate close together targets. Plus it has very good clutter rejection and resolution, so can see “stuff” in choppy seas. It is a very good radar for the… Read more »

Pete
Pete
13 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Thanks Davy. Makes sense. There are those on this site that will defend the current OPV concept to the hilt but for me it’s a question of getting much higher utility for a relatively small incremental outlay to what has already been spent and mitigating the risk to the crew in line with ALARP principles. I assume even drug cartels are / will shortly be using loitering drones as a low cost defence tool against those chasing them down. The upgrades you outline sound like a low cost multiplier. Cheers P

Steve
Steve
14 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

I stumbled on the upgrade / conversion numbers of the phalanx the other day, and it seems we have 24 units in total, which is probably reduced further by maintance. Which probably explains why we see a lot of vessels without them installed, just not enough to go around, probably also explains why the river2 were not designed to support them if needed.

Daveyb
Daveyb
13 days ago
Reply to  Steve

I still find it bizarre that a ship like the Rivers, yes they are OPVs, but they have no meaningful protection against an air attack. As I’ve mentioned to Pete above, they could easily have a rudimentary protection by linking the radar through the combat management system to the gun. Yes, its only 30mm, but it might be enough to put someone off getting too close and would provide some protection against a anonymous drone attack. Preferably, I would opt to have a 57mm fitted. As that could engage both air and surface targets, plus it has access to guided… Read more »

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
13 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

I find it very disheartening to find that even with the meagre weapons fit they have, the Rivers CMS is not linked to the radar and presumably gun. Unbelievable really, as you say, it would increase the ability of the ships to defend themselves without much expense, and although it may be only a 30mm the gun seems from previous articles to be a half decent weapon.
AA

JohninMK
JohninMK
15 days ago

This ship, the Rawabi of the UAE,would seem to be a small RO-RO military transport ship that has been on a regular run for some years between the south of Yemen and Saudi. The Houtis got fed up and a small navy commando team attacked and captured her, taking her along with the unharmed crew and the captured officers into their port of Hodeidah. The Saudis claimed the act was a “piracy against a ship carrying medicine and medical supply”, but the pictures released show a military cargo including small arms and ammo. Many of the vehicles onboard seem clapped… Read more »

dave12
dave12
15 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Ahh Ivan MK back again spouting RT kremlin news lol!!!

JohninMK
JohninMK
14 days ago
Reply to  dave12

That was a meaningless comment. I don’t think the Russians have an axe to grind in Yemen.

dave12
dave12
14 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Apparently they do Ivan RT defiantly is biased to Yemen, pleading Ignorance is not going to cut it Ivan keep coming up with its sound bites its amusing lol.

Last edited 14 days ago by dave12
JohninMK
JohninMK
14 days ago
Reply to  dave12

In that case, to maintain my role in your eyes, I’d better up the bias. Thanks for the heads up, I’m trying to up my reward from raw potatoes to Aldi skin on fries.

dave12
dave12
14 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

You role your eyes Ivan I do the same on your comments especially your previous ones lol ,just remember Italy has larger economy than Russia so do not get ahead of yourself.

JohninMK
JohninMK
14 days ago
Reply to  dave12

I do enjoy your comments, a smile never goes amiss. We in the World outside Russia seem to me to only have larger economies because our debts are not taken off. Russia carries very little debt.

dave12
dave12
14 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

LOL yes I thought that would be your answer its like you have been handed script lol but your comment does not quite add up, Russia has one of the lowest life expectancy in Europe and its living standard is way below most of the west , remember the US, China has major debt issues but that does not stop them from being superpowers, so being in less debt does not seem to help the normal Russian person, may be the kremlin should cut down on its nukes but being a dictatorship the average Russian suffers by self appointed Putin… Read more »

JohninMK
JohninMK
14 days ago
Reply to  dave12

Perhaps if I had been handed a script it would have been more convincing than my own thoughts.

dave12
dave12
14 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Well that’s the thing, you lot are not convincing at all Ivan , but then again it must be hard having to BS all the time, its a hard sell.

Last edited 14 days ago by dave12
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
9 days ago
Reply to  dave12

To be fair he is actually bang on with his comments. The Saudis have militarised a. Number of islands and this vessel has been doing supply runs to those islands.
The Saudis have been left with egg on their faces on this one.

This from someone who used to work with the RSNF!

Andrew Munro
Andrew Munro
15 days ago

Socotra Island was more given away to country no were labour are useless at strategy we should still have it on for its position at entrance to red sea/Indian Ocean.

David Steeper
David Steeper
15 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Munro

If we had held on to Socotra it would have meant conflict with then S.Yemen. After pulling out of Aden there was no stomach for that

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Munro

We have other locations in the region.

Whlgrubber
Whlgrubber
14 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Munro

Was there in 1970. What a dump. Dropped off a couple of “policemen””

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago

UAE-flagged vessel, heading to a Saudi port from a Yemeni island – and attacked and hijacked.

Is it time for UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen (and other Middle Eastern nations) to set up and operate some good anti-piracy patrols?

Or is it always down to western nations?

JohninMK
JohninMK
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Is the action by one side in a civil war against the other regarded as piracy just because it is at sea?

Expat
Expat
14 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Civil war. You don’t seem to understand the middle east. This is religious war and one that predates the Yemen conflict

JohninMK
JohninMK
14 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Like many other civil wars the cause is religion and outside forces are assisting.

Graham
Graham
14 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Piracy means attacking a ship and theft aka stealing a ship. So it is piracy. My point was about middle Eastern nations providing anti-piracy patrols.

JohninMK
JohninMK
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham

My question was whether it is still piracy if the act is done by operatives of a group fighting to be the legitimate government against its opposition. On land it would be regarded as ‘spoils of war’.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
9 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

All the GCC nations are involved in Anti Piracy and security in the region. However its a large area to cover and if you know what you are doing you can avoid the anti piracy, /security patrols.

JohninMK
JohninMK
9 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Agreed especially if the action comes out of the blue. But was this piracy or an action within a civil war?

Expat
Expat
14 days ago

Looks like there was US made kit on board including secure satellite comms. US won’t be happy this is now essentially in Iranian hands and therefore China will also have access to assess it.

Last edited 14 days ago by Expat
JohninMK
JohninMK
14 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Depends on what was still fitted in it. I suspect that had the US been worried then a Hellfire might have paid a visit.

Expat
Expat
14 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Early days Saudi has not ruled out force as a response.

JohninMK
JohninMK
14 days ago
Reply to  Expat

I expect that they will hit back. My comment was on the potential immediate removal by the US of an Intel compromising vehicle.

Damo
Damo
13 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

I reckon iran will have had plenty of sat comms gear to get stuck into from iraq and Afghanistan. They’ll have been stuff going missing from bases everywhere