Chinese tanker targeted by Houthi anti-ship missiles

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A Chinese owned and operated crude oil tanker, the 115 449-dwt Huang Pu (IMO 9402469) became the target of a number of Houthi-fired anti-ship missiles as the vessel transited the lower Red Sea. The tanker flies the Panama flag.

This has evoked some surprise as the Houthis had previously assured China and Russia that their ships would have safe passage through the Gulf of Aden and southern Red Sea. Huang Pu was acquired by a Hong Kong-based Chinese company as recently as 1 February 2024, which may help explain the attack.

The Chinese ship, which has had several previous non-Chinese operators, came under attack more than a week ago on 23 March and involved four anti-ship missiles which were launched toward the ship as the Huang Pu was transiting the lower Red Sea. Later a fifth missile was launched in the direction of the tanker.

Four of the missiles landed harmlessly in the sea but one did strike the vessel, with minimal damage although a fire did break out, which was however quickly extinguished.

According to US Central Command (CENTCOM), the tanker issued a distress signal but did not request assistance. There were no injuries reported and the tanker was able to resume its course en route to the Arabian Gulf.

In the latest update from CENTCOM, an unmanned surface vessel (USV) dispatched by the Houthi forces in Yemen has been intercepted and destroyed before it could cause any harm. It had been determined that the USV presented a threat to US and coalition forces and merchant ships in the region.

Written by Africa Ports & Ships and republished with permission. The original article can be found here.