German Battleship in the Red Sea Misidentifies US Drone, Fires Two Missiles, Both Fail To Reach the Target

Published February 29, 2024

Germany is reportedly implementing a serious overhaul of the country’s military, led by Defense Minister Boris Pistorius.

The revamp of the military seeks to ‘make the force more capable of defending Germany and its allies.’

Deutsche Welle reported that the new defense guidelines state: “‘We must be the backbone of deterrence and collective defense in Europe. Our own population, as well as our partners in Europe, North America and the world, expect us to face up to this responsibility’.”

However, in the real world, things are not going so well for the Bundeswehr, as the deploying of the frigate ‘Hessen’ to the Red Sea has made clear.

German paper Bild’s editor Julian Röpcke has written about what he calls the ‘incredible double mishap in the German Navy off the coast of Yemen!’

The drama took place on Monday evening and is ’emblematic of the partly desolate state of the German army under Defense Minister Boris Pistorius’.

BILD reported:

“The German warship’s radar systems incorrectly recognized a drone circling overhead as hostile. The ‘Hessen’ then fired two rockets at them.

But in reality the unknown aircraft was a US MQ-9 Reaper drone (20 meter wingspan, 30 million euros).

A blessing in disguise for the Americans: Both German SM2 interceptor missiles [failed to] reach their target for technical reasons, but instead fell into the sea without achieving anything.”

Germany deployed the frigate Hessen with around 240 soldiers on board.



RELATED: German navy almost shot down US drone over Red Sea — reports

A German warship in the Red Sea almost shot down a US drone in a narrowly averted case of friendly fire, according to reports.

A German warship in the Red Sea almost shot down a US drone in a narrowly averted case of friendly fire, according to media reportsImage: Mohssen Assanimoghaddam/dpa/picture alliance
Published February 28, 2024

German naval frigate sent to protect commercial ships in the Red Sea nearly shot down a US drone by accident, German media reported on Wednesday.

What do we know so far?

The German Defense Ministry confirmed a drone incident involving an allied nation occurred on Monday, without naming the country.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said the Hesse frigate, which arrived in the region at the weekend as part of an EU mission to help secure international shipping from attacks by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis, opened fire after efforts to identify the unknown drone “were unsuccessful.”

Ministry spokesman Michael Stempfle said, “The case was resolved when it turned out that it wasn’t a hostile drone, which only became clear in hindsight.”

Fortunately, two missiles fired at the drone missed their target and crashed into the sea due to “a technical defect,” according to Der Spiegel news magazine, which also claimed that the UAV in question was a US Reaper reconnaissance drone.

What was the US drone doing in the area?

Without citing its sources, Spiegel speculated that the drone may have been in the area “as part of an American anti-terror mission” unrelated to the Red Sea mission, but said military officials believed the friendly-fire incident showed that coordination between allies involved in various missions in the region around Yemen “needs to be improved.”

The daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung added it was “common knowledge that American combat drones are used in the region that have nothing to do with the operation in the Red Sea.”

The Hesse, which is crewed by 240 German soldiers and sailors, had more luck on Wednesday when it successfully shot down two Houthi drones in the space of 15 minutes.

The Hesse arrived in the Red Sea at the weekend after the German parliament approved its participation in the mission on Friday, according to the German military.

Pistorius on Wednesday said it had “turned out to be correct to send the frigate at the beginning of February so that it could begin its operations… immediately after the mandate was decided.”



RELATED: German warship, part of EU Red Sea mission, shoots down two drones

Published February 28, 2024

BERLIN/LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) – A German warship shot down two drones in the Red Sea on Tuesday amid escalating attacks by Yemen’s Houthis and efforts by the European Union to protect international shipping, German officials said.

Shipping risks have increased due to repeated strikes by the Iran-aligned Houthis in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab Strait since November in what they describe as acts of solidarity with Palestinians against Israel in the Gaza war.
U.S. and British forces have responded with several airstrikes on Houthi facilities but have so far failed to halt the attacks.
The German navy frigate Hessen, which was deployed earlier this month to the region, shot the drones down within 20 minutes of each one being fired, a defence ministry spokesperson told a news briefing, declining comment on the target of the projectiles.
“They were recognised by the radar system and had a different range. That’s why two different weapons were used,” the ministry spokesperson said.
The warship identified a suspicious drone on Monday but was unable to shoot it down successfully, the spokesperson added.
France, Greece and Italy are among countries that will participate in the EU mission that initially will see three vessels under EU command.
Participating countries will be mandated to protect commercial ships and intercept attacks, but not take part in strikes against the Houthis on land.




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