Report German frigate mistakenly fired at

Report: German frigate mistakenly fired at…

The German warship “Hessen” fires two missiles at a Reaper drone in the Red Sea. The launch fails for technical reasons. It was only later discovered that it was an American drone.

The German frigate “Hessen” accidentally fired at a US Reaper drone, reports the German magazine “Der Spiegel”. The drone was not shot down due to a technical defect in two German anti-aircraft missiles. The two projectiles fell into the sea.

The near miss was caused by a lack of communication between several military missions in the Red Sea and Yemen, the report states. The American drone was not used as part of the US “Prosperity Guardian” mission, which patrols the Red Sea against attacks by Houthi rebels. The crew of the “Hessen” contacted members of the “Prosperity Guardian” after spotting the unknown drone. But they also didn't know about the use of the flying object. He was likely traveling to another US mission in the region.

After consulting his North American colleagues, the commander of the “Hesse” gave the order to shoot down the drone that was flying in the direction of the German ship. Only after the failed maneuver did it become known that it was a North American drone, writes “Spiegel”.

The German Defense Ministry has not confirmed the report. According to the report, the Berlin department only said that there was actual use of weapons. It later turned out that the drone was not hostile.

German Defense Minister: Two drones successfully shot down

However, other combat operations were successful: there was a “successful shooting down of two enemy drones,” German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Wednesday during a visit to troops in Oberviechtach, Bavaria. On Tuesday night, the frigate detected an unmanned drone for the first time and successfully countered it. About a quarter of an hour later, another drone approached the ship and was also shot down.

Since this week, the “Hessen” has been part of the EU's “Aspides” operation to protect merchant ships on the route, which is important for the global economy, against attacks by Yemen's Houthi rebels. The Bundestag gave the mandate for this on Friday. This provides for a maximum limit of 700 soldiers. The mandate is limited until the end of February 2025. Military officials consider the “Hessians” to be ideally equipped for operations, especially when it comes to aerial reconnaissance.

Austria sends two officers to EU mission

Austria also participates in the EU maritime mission in the Red Sea with two officers. As the Ministry of Defense announced in a press release on Wednesday, up to five people can be sent if necessary. The experts will therefore bring their know-how in the areas of logistics and information and communication technology to the mission headquarters in the Greek city of Larissa.

According to the mandate, EU ships are not authorized to directly attack Houthi positions. Italy and Denmark are also involved in the operation, while Greece is responsible for the mission. Houthi militias in Yemen have been increasingly attacking ships in the Red Sea with rockets for months if, they say, the transports have a link to Israel. They want to support the extremist organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip against Israeli attacks in retaliation for the October 7th massacre. (red./APA/Portal)

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