The U.S. Navy has seized a large cache of Iranian-made weapons and other munitions aboard a dhow in the Arabian Sea, the service announced.
USS Normandy (CG 60), a U.S. Navy Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, performed the bust on Feb. 9 while conducting maritime security operations in the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of operations.
According to the U.S. Navy, the sailors from Normandy boarded a dhow “in accordance with international law and discovered a large cache of weapons”.
The weapons seized include 150 ‘Dehlavieh’ anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), which are Iranian-manufactured copies of Russian Kornet ATGMs. Other weapons components seized aboard the dhow were of Iranian design and manufacture and included three Iranian surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), Iranian thermal imaging weapon scopes, and Iranian components for unmanned aerial and surface vessels (UAVs, USVs), as well as other munitions and advanced weapons parts.
Many of these weapons systems are identical to the advanced weapons and weapon components seized by the guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) in the Arabian Sea on Nov. 25, 2019. Those weapons were determined to be of Iranian origin and assessed to be destined for the Houthis in Yemen, which would be in violation of a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution that prohibits the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of weapons to the Houthis.
According to the U.S. Navy, the seized weapons are in U.S. custody awaiting final disposition. The assessment of the materiel will be an interagency and international effort. International partner nations and organizations have also been invited to inspect the cache.
The operation is ongoing, and further information will be shared as it becomes available, the Navy statement added.