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German Warship Almost Shot Down US Drone Over Red Sea

The German Navy's Sachsen-class frigate, the FGS Hessen, launched an air defense missile in an attempt to shoot down an "unidentified" drone over the Red Sea, which was later identified as belonging to the United States.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — A German Navy’s Sachsen-class frigate, the FGS Hessen accidentally launched an air defense missile in an attempt to shoot down an “unidentified” drone over the Red Sea, which was later identified as belonging to the United States.

The German Navy’s frigate was fortunate as the SM-2 missile it launched experienced a technical malfunction, causing the attempt to shoot down the “unidentified drone” on February 26 to fail.

The “unidentified” drone was later identified by the German Navy as an MQ-9 “Reaper” drone belonging to the United States, operating in the Red Sea waters.

This technical “failure” of the German frigate’s missile inadvertently prevented the German Navy from the embarrassment of mistakenly shooting down a friendly force’s asset, which could have resulted in the destruction of an asset belonging to allied forces.

The FGS Hessen was in the Red Sea as part of “Operation Aspides,” a European Union initiative to counter threats from the Houthi group against commercial ships navigating these waters.

MQ-9 Reaper drone


In addition to the German warship, countries such as France, Greece, and Italy also deployed their warships to the region.

After the German warship FGS Hessen detected the presence of the “unidentified” drone, it attempted but failed to identify it with the American forces before launching an SM-2 missile in an attempt to shoot it down.

German media outlet Spiegel reported that both SM-2 missiles experienced technical issues, failing to shoot down the “unidentified” drone.

The MQ-9 Reaper drone, which did not activate its Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, could not be identified by the German Navy’s frigate FGS Hessen, which attempted to shoot it down.

Otherwise, the American military could have lost an MQ-9 Reaper drone, valued at approximately $40 million each.

American MQ-9 Reaper drones are actively engaged in the Red Sea, aiming to detect targets and missile positions of the Houthi armed group launched against commercial ships in these waters.

Peluru Berpandu
The launching of SM missile


To date, the Houthi group has successfully shot down two MQ-9 Reaper drones belonging to the United States military.

Last week, the Houthi armed group claimed to have successfully shot down an MQ-9 “Reaper” drone belonging to the United States military near the coast of Hodeidah, Yemen.

Houthi spokesperson Brig Gen Yahya Saree stated that his forces successfully shot down the drone, valued between $30 million to $40 million, using “suitable” missiles while the American military asset was allegedly undertaking “malicious” missions on behalf of Israel against Yemen.

The unmanned aerial vehicle was developed by General Atomics.

Debris of MQ-9 Reaper found in Hodeidah coastal areas in Yemen.


The armed group also released a video of the downed drone and its wreckage found at an unnamed location in Yemen.

Meanwhile, two senior officials from the United States Department of Defense confirmed to Fox News that an MQ-9 Reaper drone had crashed in Yemen after being purportedly shot down by the group. — DSA