A Royal Navy warship has “successfully destroyed” an attack drone in anger, the British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.
It is believed that this is the first time in many decades a British warship has shot down a missile in anger.
Shapps said it is believed that drone was intended for a merchant ship in the Red Sea, which lies between north Africa and the Arabian peninsula.
The HMS Diamond, the Type 45 destroyer which is currently operating in the Red Sea shot down the suspected drone.
“One Sea Viper missile fired and successfully destroyed the target”, On Saturday, Shapps said in a statement.
“The ship recently arrived in the region to bolster international efforts to maintain maritime security.
“The recent spate of illegal attacks represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security in the Red Sea.
“The UK remains committed to repelling these attacks to protect the free flow of global trade.”
First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Ben Key said, “One sixth of the world’s commercial shipping passes through the Bab-al-Mandeb Strait and Red Sea. HMS Diamond deployed at short notice to the region from Portsmouth just two weeks ago and is already delivering effect together with our American, French and other allies and partners.
“The Royal Navy is committed to upholding the right to free use of the oceans and we do not tolerate indiscriminate threats or attacks against those going about their lawful business on the high seas.”