Watch a US guided missile destroyer launch Tomahawk cruise missiles against Houthi rebels radar sites in Yemen

The guided missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94) launched a TLAM strike against three coastal radar sites in Houthi-controlled territory on Yemen’s Red Sea coast.

On Oct. 13, at around 4AM LT, the U.S. Navy has launched a retaliatory strike against coastal Houthi-controlled radar sites in Yemen, after three American vessels, USS Nitze and USS Mason guided-missile destroyers, and the Austing-class USS Ponce Afloat Forward Staging Base (formerly, amphibious transport dock) were attacked twice in just three days in international waters off Yemen.

“Due to hostile acts, continuing and imminent threat of force, and multiple threats to vessels in the Bab-al Mandeb Strait, including U.S. naval vessels, Nitze struck the sites, which were used to attack U.S. ships operating in international waters, threatening freedom of navigation. Nitze is deployed to the 5th Fleet area of operations to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.”

The footage below shows USS Nitze fire Tomahawk cruise missiles against Iran-backed Houthi targets that have threatened attacks against ships in the Red Sea.

The three U.S. warships have been operating in the vicinity of Bab el-Mandeb following the attack on the UAE-flagged high-speed transport vessel HSV Swift severely damaged after being attacked by the rebels with what is believed to be a Chinese C-802 anti-ship missile possibly provided by Iran.

The U.S. retaliatory attack came hours after USS Ponce and Mason were attacked for the second time in four days on Wednesday. In the first encounter, on Sunday, the guided-missile destroyer fired three missiles, two Standard Missile-2s (SM-2s) and a single Evolved Seasparrow Missile (ESSM) to intercept the two missiles that were launched against the American vessels at 7 PM LT. In addition to the missiles, USS Mason used its Nulka anti-ship missile decoy.

Little is known about the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) used in the attack.

The Tomahawk IV can hit at a range of 1,000 miles and can adjust its flight path to pursuit moving targets. Guidance can come from various platforms, including ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) planes and tactical aircraft.

In an interview given at the end of 2013, PACAF commander General Hawk Carlisle said 5th gen. aircraft will provide forward target identification for strike missiles launched from a surface warship or submerged submarine, in the future. The PACAF commander described the ability of the F-22s, described as “electronic warfare enabled sensor-rich aircraft,” to provide forward targeting through their sensors for submarine based Tomahawks. It’s not known whether the U.S. Air Force has already implemented this capability, though.

The missile, launched through a Vertical Launch System (VLS), is guided by an operator that can redirect the TLAM towards pre-planned alternate targets, or bring the missile to a “holding area” where it can wait for a new target of opportunity. It also features an anti-jam GPS receiver for enhanced accuracy. By means of data link, the RGM-109E missile can download imagery and health status messages to the control station so as to give the operator the ability to change the mission in accordance with the battlefield and cruise conditions.

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About David Cenciotti 4450 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.

14 Comments

  1. “In an interview given at the end of 2013, PACAF commander General Hawk Carlisle said 5th gen. aircraft will provide forward target identification for strike missiles launched from a surface warship or submerged submarine, in the future. The PACAF commander described the ability of the F-22s, described as “electronic warfare enabled sensor-rich aircraft,” to provide forward targeting through their sensors for submarine based T-LAMS (cruise missiles).”

    And now you see why the U.S. is investing so much in the F-35. It is even better as a forward targeter than the F-22. Yet some fools still question the need to buy F-35s. They say F-15s or -16s would be “good enough”. Well guess what. They’re not, and anyone who supports buying 4th gen over 5th gen is nothing but a damn fool. Thank God they have lost this argument. The Russians and Chinese? They have no equivalent capability. Nor will they for decades!

    • This will only be true on the day that an F-35 end up with a Su-35, T-50 or J-31. Everything else is just cheap speculation of a teenage USfanboy.

    • you forget the lessons of vietnam and afghanistan. even with high-tech weapons neither the usa nor the soviet union could not win against superior numbers of determined people.
      defending their home against corrupt invaders.
      also complex technology always brakes down faster then simple technology. im sure the f-35 has many vulnerable points, that can be expoited. but please, continue :)

    • How exactly do you know the Russians or Chinese have no equivalent capability?

      The F-22 looks like quite a bulky, not overly agile, air superiority fighter and the F-35 appears a underpowered and technically vulnerable, strike fighter.

    • Um.. are you seriously suggesting that it is necessary to have stealth aircraft, like the actually quite useful F-22 or useless F-35, to target cruise missiles onto a bunch of deadbeats in a desert with Scuds, or even 60’s era ground to air missiles that they’re using for ground-to-ground?

      Sounds a little ridiculous.. these targets could have been dealt with by pretty much any aircraft in the Confederate Air Force inventory.

      Also, here’s another idea.. where, exactly, is the US interest in striking the Houthis, who are Shias and enemies of the camelmolesting Sunnis who lead the ‘legitimate government’? Why, exactly, would the US interest in supporting that ‘great ally’, Saudi Arabia, whose diplomats supported the 9/11 hijackers, and which is the greatest state sponsor of terror around the globe? Is it solely in support of the ‘greatest ally’ of all?

      • Also, here’s another idea.. where, exactly, is the US interest in striking the Houthis, who are Shias and enemies of the camelmolesting Sunnis who lead the ‘legitimate government’? Why, exactly, would the US interest in supporting that ‘great ally’, Saudi Arabia, whose diplomats supported the 9/11 hijackers, and which is the greatest state sponsor of terror around the globe? Is it solely in support of the ‘greatest ally’ of all?

        A lot of Americans are asking the same question. I did multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and butted heads with both factions. Even the craziest Shia’s that i personally witnessed (Sadr’s OMS guys) didn’t hold a candle to the Sunni’s I dealt with. I’m all for a monumental policy shift that sees us start to get away from Saudi Arabia and move closer to Iran. As the American public becomes more aware of the intricacies they will feel the same way. We’re already starting to get more critical with Saudi Arabia and more lenient with Iran and you can see this with policy (the Iran nuke deal) and criticisms aimed at Saudi Arabia. The more the US public understands this the more you’ll see us move in the right direction. With luck, nothing will derail it.

    • You are pretty delusional if you are thinking there will be a large conventional conflict between the US and Russia. Many people think we are on the brink of WW3 and that will go nuclear pretty fast. The political situation is as bad as it was 1973 when Israel was attacked by Egypt and Syria. A tiny mistake is enough and we are at war.

      Look at what will be left of your hometown/city if a missile hits: http://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/

    • supersonic, multi-role fighter jets vs hypersonic, multi-warhead missiles ???

  2. Impressive how this worked out. That missile is no joke and that is evident by the decoy deployed by the Mason. For the SM2 to be used we must have spotted the missile quite early despite its low RCS and sea skimming flight mode. That means we shot at it when it was over 100NM away from the ships.. then we let the ESSM going at about 30 NM. Guessing of course. Not sure if these maneuvered or never reached the terminal phase but the dual IR jam resistant seekers on the SM2’s sure helped :)

  3. All these modern technology and we are still struggling to take control from people that have been describe as cavemen. This multi billion dollar military seems like a waist of money. We could have been spacemen with space colonization by now and the moon base would not sound as farfetched as it is now.

  4. USA is fast & furious against weaklings as Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Panamá, Grenada… But with Russia…

    • What about with Russia? Russia’s military is a joke in comparison. In the old days at least the USSR could boast numbers. Russia can’t even do that anymore. Their technology hasn’t reached parity. Fact. What they do have is inferior to it’s Western counterpart AND outnumbered. Fact. Their budget is a tenth what the US’ is. Fact. The US military, at all levels has 15 years of combat experience. 99% of Russia’s military is unblooded. Fact.

      So what about Russia? Russia is something we barely pay attention to unless they’re violating a NATO members airspace or talking shit from the Kremlin. Then we just laugh at pathetic Russian attempts to measure up while denying their laughable insecurities. So yeah…what about Russia? Ha ha ha.

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