CENTCOM: Iran-Backed Houthis Use “Unmanned Underwater Vessel”

February 20, 2024

The Houthis and the IRGC are adjusting their strategy, apparently because they haven’t been successful in striking a U.S. naval vessel.

Former Pentagon official and CIA agent, Mick Mulroy, said regarding the Houthi’s use of an unmanned underwater vessel,” or UUV, observed by U.S. Central Command over the weekend.

What To Know: Iranian-backed Houthis (recently deemed a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group by the U.S.) utilized a UUV – observed by U.S. Central Command for the first time since attacks in the Red Sea began in the fall – showing increased Houthi capability. In self-defense, the U.S. struck five military targets in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, including the UUV. 

What is a UUV? Standing for unmanned underwater vehicle, the growth of UUVs grew in 2023. The Defense and Security Monitor says, “These events position 2024 as another breakthrough year for undersea warfare and systems.”

Mulroy explained, “Unmanned surface and subsurface vessels are likely more difficult to detect and destroy than aerial drones and anti-ship missiles. The Houthis are not likely capable of manufacturing these weapons on their own, so they are probably coming from Iran.”

The Houthis have launched several attacks in the Red Sea since October 2023. The U.S. and British militaries have since retaliated multiple times.

Read More:

Unmanned Houthi submarines pose new threat to US warships in Red Sea (ABC News)

U.S. Says It Struck 5 Houthi Targets in Yemen, Including an Underwater Drone (The New York Times)

by Sarah Pinkerton, based in Paris