US Drone Targeted by Friendly Fire from German Frigate in Red Sea

US Drone Targeted by Friendly Fire from German Frigate in Red Sea

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The German Defense Ministry disclosed on Wednesday that the frigate Hessen, deployed to the Red Sea as part of an EU mission, accidentally fired on an American drone earlier this week.

Berlin had previously announced the Hessen’s engagement with Yemeni drones on Tuesday.

However, on Monday evening, the frigate targeted an unidentified drone with two SM-2 missiles, both of which failed to hit the target, according to German Defense Ministry spokesman Michael Stempfle.

“The case was resolved in the sense that it was not a hostile drone, which only became clear afterwards,” Stempfle said.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius confirmed the incident while visiting a military base in Bavaria on Wednesday evening, stating, “There had been an incident in which shots were fired, but no one was hit.”

According to the German military blog Augen geradeaus, the US-made missiles failed for “technical reasons,” leading the Hessen to engage Yemeni drones on Tuesday with its 76mm main gun. The warship used short-range RAM missiles to shoot down another drone on Wednesday morning.

The Hessen attempted to identify the drone by contacting other friendly ships in the Red Sea, but no country claimed the UAV. It was later revealed to be an “unreported” American MQ-9 Reaper, flying with its transponder turned off. Washington had not notified allied warships of its mission.

The US and its allies have deployed ships to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden to prevent Yemeni forces from attacking Israeli-linked shipping along the major global trade route. The attacks on vessels affiliated with the Israeli regime in West Asian waterways began in late October, with Yemenis vowing to continue as long as Israel continues assaulting Palestinians in Gaza.

The Hessen is part of the EU’s mission in the Red Sea called “Aspides” (Greek for “shield”), which aims to involve at least four frigates. It operates separately from the US-led “Operation Prosperity Guardian,” also intended to protect merchant ships.

Initially targeting only “Israeli-linked” vessels, the Yemeni military expanded their interdiction to cargo ships linked to the US and the UK after both countries began bombing Yemen in January. Most major global shippers have rerouted their vessels around Africa as insurance premiums soared due to the increased risk.

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