USS Normandy Seizes Illegal Weapons in Arabian Sea

The crew of the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy seized an illicit shipment of advanced weapons and weapon components, intended for the Houthis in Yemen, aboard a dhow in the Arabian Sea on Feb. 9. U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman

The USS Normandy, while conducting maritime security operations in the U.S. Central Command area of operations, boarded a dhow in the Arabian Sea on Feb. 9 in accordance with international law and discovered a large cache of weapons, according to a Feb. 13 U.S. Central Command release. 

Video from the illicit weapons seizure by the USS Normandy crew. U.S. Central Command

The weapons seized include 150 “Dehlavieh” anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), which are Iranian-manufactured copies of Russian Kornet ATGMs. Other weapons components seized aboard the dhow were of Iranian design and manufacture and included three Iranian surface-to-air missiles, Iranian thermal imaging weapon scopes and Iranian components for unmanned aerial and surface vessels as well as other munitions and advanced weapons parts. 

Many of these weapons systems are identical to the advanced weapons and weapon components seized by guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman in the Arabian Sea in November. Those weapons were determined to be of Iranian origin and assessed to be destined for the Houthis in Yemen, which would be in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution that prohibits the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of weapons to the Houthis.  

The seized weapons are in U.S. custody awaiting final disposition. The assessment of the material will be an interagency and international effort. International partner nations and organizations have also been invited to inspect the cache. The operation is ongoing, according to Central Command.