For the past week the US Navy has been under regular missile attacks off the coast of Yemen. The intended target is the USS Mason, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer. It was attacked twice (here | here). One of the attacks prompted a cruise missile strike by Mason’s consort, USS Nitze.
Now the Mason has been attacked again.
The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mason was fired on again in international waters off the coast of Yemen, but the ship deployed countermeasures and the vessel was not struck, two U.S. officials said.
The incident occurred late Saturday or early Sunday local time. At least one missile was fired, the officials said.
“The Mason once again appears to have come under attack in the Red Sea, again from coastal defense cruise missiles fired from the coast of Yemen,” Navy Admiral John Richardson, chief of naval operations, told reporters at an event in Baltimore Saturday.
The weapons the Iranian sponsored militias are using are the Chinese-made C-802 “Eagle Strike,” known within NATO as the CSS-N-8 Saccade. In the first and the most recent strikes the missile seem to have been fired using direct aim from the launcher with the hope that USS Mason would be detected by the terminal guidance system. The second attack was launched using fire control radar to paint the Mason.
Unless we increase the cost of playing silly-buggers with our ships to an unacceptable level, eventually we are going to suffer a catastrophe. These ineffectual attacks are just as likely to be designed to lead to a false sense of complacency and lay the ground work for a devastating ambush. At a minimum we should establish a policy that any attack on a US vessel or aircraft is going to be met with an immediate and devastating attack. We owe their crews that much.