Houthis Claim Missile Attack on U.S. Navy Ship Amid Reports of Pentagon Planning Retaliation

Accusing Iran of supporting the Houthis, the U.S. is reportedly planning to target Iranian military sites like radar stations and arms bases.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 09:25 AM, January 29, 2024
  • 1027
Houthis Claim Missile Attack on U.S. Navy Ship Amid Reports of Pentagon Planning Retaliation
USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) @U.S. Navy

Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for a missile attack targeting the mobile surface expeditionary sea base (ESB) of the U.S. Navy USS Lewis B. Puller in the Gulf of Aden today, amid reports that the Pentagon was planning a massive retaliation against Houthi and Iranian targets.

The U.S. has accused Iran of providing material and tactical support to the Houthis and so has Iranian military targets such as radar stations and arms bases in its cross hairs.

The Houthi attack, carried out with an anti-ship missile launched from a coastal launcher of the Supreme Political Council Revolutionary Committee (SCRC), has yet to receive final confirmation, according to reports from the "Russian Arms" telegram page.

Analysts speculate that the absence of promising multi-channel shipborne self-defense air defense systems on the USS Lewis B. Puller may render it vulnerable to various types of low-altitude anti-ship missiles.

This incident unfolds against the backdrop of escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran, with Washington accusing Tehran of providing material and tactical support to the Houthi rebels. The U.S. military has reportedly set its sights on Iranian military targets, including radar stations and arms bases.

Sources suggest that the Pentagon is gearing up for a massive retaliation against Houthi and Iranian targets, with the first phase potentially targeting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Tactical aircraft from the U.S. Air Force are expected to lead the strike, focusing on the IRGC's over-the-horizon radar near the port city of Jask on the Gulf of Oman coast.

Houthis Claim Missile Attack on U.S. Navy Ship Amid Reports of Pentagon Planning Retaliation
Bavar-373 air defense system @Iranian media

This radar, equipped with a decameter active phased array, is capable of detecting strategic missiles at a considerable distance. The U.S. may deploy a squadron of 10-12 AGM-158B tactical missiles or AGM-88E AARGM anti-radar missiles to disable the radar and disrupt the IRGC's air defense capabilities.

To counter potential Iranian defenses, the U.S. Air Force is reportedly preparing a combined missile strike against strategically important Iranian targets. This could include sending five KC-135R air tankers to refuel tactical and reconnaissance aircraft during the operation, along with additional RC-135V/W "Rivet Joint" strategic electronic reconnaissance aircraft.

Iran, anticipating a possible attack, has reportedly placed its air defense and missile defense systems, based on the Bavar-373 and Khordad-15 systems, on high alert since midnight.

Houthis Claim Missile Attack on U.S. Navy Ship Amid Reports of Pentagon Planning Retaliation
USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) @U.S. Navy
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