How Are Houthi Missile Drones Attacking Ships?

The Gate of Tears,” also known as the Babel-Mandeb Strait, is an important route for cargo ships heading to the Suez Canal, a critical waterway for global trade. An important marine chokepoint that is vital to international trade and shipping is the Suez Canal. Despite its significance, Houthi militants have started attacking the vital conduit across the Babel-Mandeb Strait.

Two possible scenarios show how these attacks could happen:

First scenario:

A Soviet-era P-21 missile with a solid booster and liquid fuel, developed during the Cold War, may be used by Houthi rebels if a ship is within the targeted range of 80 kilometers or 40 miles from the ground.
The missile launches in two stages, the first of which fires for two to three seconds before the second stage kicks in.
The missile uses its radar to look for a target. Once locked on, if it strikes at the proper angle, it can theoretically destroy or sink a cargo ship by deploying a hollow-shaped charge warhead.

Second Scenario:

In this scenario, an Iranian-reengineered missile from the Soviet era is used by Houthi militants to combat ships.
The target is 28 miles or 45 kilometers away from the launch position of the modified SA-2 missile.
For example, over ten hours, Houthi troops fired three anti-ship ballistic missiles at Mach 3.5 and two ground attack cruise missiles on a US destroyer that was cruising the Red Sea.

Thankfully, the American destroyer’s defense system reacts well and eliminates the approaching threats. This prompt and effective action guarantees everyone’s safety and stops any damage to nearby ships. The fact that the damaged trade channels are quickly secured despite the attempted attacks emphasizes how crucial strong defense systems are to preserving maritime activities.

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