Why you don’t poke around a littoral in an aluminum ship with no armament.
Video surfaced that purports to be a Houthi missile attack on the former MSC’s HSV-2 Swift near the Red Sea port city of Mocha near the Bab Al Mandab Strait early Saturday.
The 1,700-ron/321-foot Swift was built by Incat in Australia in 2002 and was privately owned and operated by Sealift Inc., under the JHSV program, for the MSC on two five-year charters which ended in 2013. Sold to the UAE’s National Marine Dredging Company, she was apparently a civilian ship carrying medical and humanitarian aid when hit (and reportedly sunk) last weekend.
No word on what may have sunk her but the Yemeni rebels are financed and backed by Iran, which has a host of indigenous anti-ship missiles including the Kowsar, Nasr-1, Noor (reverse engineered Chinese C-802), Qader (a ship killer with a 440-pound warhead), Raad (a take off of the Chinese HY-2 Silkworm) and Zafar.
The smallish (read= truck portable) 220-pound Kowsar, with a 64-pound warhead, has been used by Hezbollah in Lebanon, with one hit on the Israeli corvette INS Hanit in 2006, a Sa’ar 5-class ship about the same size as Swift, causing serious damage, and another on an Egyptian merchantman which reportedly left the ship commercial nonviable.