The U.S. Navy captured a cache of illegal, Iranian-made weapons, including about 150 anti-tank missiles, from a small sailing vessel in the Arabian Sea, on Feb 9, the U.S. Central Command announced Thursday (Feb 13).
The supply of weapons captured was nearly identical to another cache seized in November, which was assessed to be a shipment from Iran on the way to Houthi fighters in Yemen, CENTCOM said in a statement. Defense officials said Thursday that they had not determined definitively where this most recent supply of weapons was being delivered.
The weapons seized by sailors aboard the USS Normandy, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, included about 150 “Dehlavieh” anti-tank guided missiles — Iranian-made versions of the Russian Kornet anti-tank missile. Also seized from the dhow sailing vessel were Iranian-built surface-to-air missiles, thermal imaging weapon scopes, components to build Iranian-designed drones and boats, and other advanced weapons parts and munitions, CENTCOM said.
The Normandy stopped the vessel and sailors boarded it while conducting regular maritime security operations, CENTCOM said.
The officials said the operation that resulted in the capture of the weapons was ongoing Thursday. They said the U.S. retained custody of the weapons, which would be assessed through an interagency-and-international effort.