Video: Houthis Claim First Launch of Hypersonic Missile Targeting MSC Ship

hypersonic missile
Purported launch of the first hypersonic missile used to target commercial shipping (Houthi military on X)

Published Jun 26, 2024 3:13 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Houthis military and spokesperson are asserting that they have launched for the first time a hypersonic missile which was used to target an MSC containership far out in the Gulf of Aden. This comes after several days of increased activity and additional claims that the militants are also launching a new, faster, and sleeker attack boat.

“For the first time, the identity of the missile that targeted the Israeli (sic) ship MSC Sarah V in the Arabian Sea,” was being revealed according to a posting for the Houthi spokesperson Yahya Saree. “It is a locally made hypersonic missile that possesses advanced technology, is accurate in hitting, and reaches long ranges.”

Observers are raising new concerns based on the distance of the reported attack. The MSC Sarah V (67,795 dwt registered in Liberia) was 280 miles southeast of Nishtun, in eastern Yemen near Oman. The vessel was sailing on Monday near Yemen’s Socotra Island bound for Abu Dhabi. While the Houthis as always claimed a direct hit, the UK Maritime Trade Organizations said it received a report from the master of a “close proximity” explosion. They said there were no injuries or damage and the vessel was proceeding.




The Houthis have previously staged a few long-range attacks but most are closer to the mainland of Yemen. In April, they targeted the MSC Orion, and while reports varied on the position it was set between 300 and 400 nautical miles from Yemen.

Media reports in March said the Houthis had begun manufacturing their hypersonic missile which had been tested with a capable of reaching Mach 8. The reports said it would be used to threaten shipping further into the Indian Ocean. There were also reports that Iran was providing the Houthis with new missile capabilities. The Houthi military is releasing pictures and videos of the missile they named Hatem 2.



The Houthis last week also showed off videos of a purported new “piloted military boat” that they said was tested for the first time. Calling it the Tufan 1, they claimed it is capable of 35 knots powered with an outboard motor, and transports 330 pounds of explosives. It appears from the videos and pictures to be smaller, more agile, and capable of cutting through the waves.

The first successful remote-controlled boat attack which was against the Tutor last month showed a much cruder wood fishing boat. The Tufan appears to be a fiberglass or composite boat which the claims are saying is more lethal. 

The Houthis claimed to have deployed a second remote boat this week in a second attack on the Transworld Navigator, a Liberia-registered 178,897 dwt bulker. Managed by Stealth Maritime of Greece, the company was accused of violating the Houthis’ ban on Israeli ports. In a June 22 report, they said the vessel had been targeted in the Red Sea, and in a statement the following day they said the vessel was targeted with an unmanned boat. The vessel is still underway bound for the Suez where Philippine officials are saying they plan to repatriate the crew.

The Houthis are reporting a new wave of attacks including today claiming to have targeted the MSC Manzanillo (72,717 dwt registered in Portugal) while it was docked in Haifa. Over the weekend the Houthis claimed to have targeted four vessels in Haifa and the Shorthorn Express, a Vroom livestock carrier registered in Luxembourg while it was sailing in the Mediterranean. Other purported attacks included the Stolt Sequoia (37,620 dwt), a Liberia-registered product tanker that was bound for the UAE. Stolt denies the attack. The Joint Maritime Information Center also reported explosions near the Lila Lisbon, a St. Kitts-Nevis flagged bulker.

The UK and U.S. monitoring efforts recorded a series of attacks but asserted that none of them hit specific ships. They have cited multiple reports of explosions in the water coming from masters of ships operating in the region.

The Houthis today also claimed to have attached the southern port city of Eilat in Israel. The port has been targeted multiple times and today the Israelis said the drones launched toward the port fell short in the water. They said that none of the drones entered Israeli territory.