French navy’s frigate, Languedoc, shoots down two Houthi drones off the coast of Yemen in the Red Sea, according to the French military. The interception occurred on December 9 at night. The drones were launched by the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen.
US Central Command recognizes the role of the French frigate for shooting down the drones in the Red Sea. Languedoc is a new advanced multi-purpose frigate that specializes in anti-submarine warfare and air defenses. It is part of a new program of frigate building that has seen eight similar frigates in the French navy put to sea as part of the same class.
The visits of French ships are crucial for Israel-France ties as part of France’s deployment of naval assets in the region. The French role in the region is essential for security in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf. In addition, France has dispatched the helicopter carrier Dixmude to serve as a hospital ship off the coast of Egypt in case it is needed due to the conflict in Gaza.
The incident in the Red Sea came after the Houthis stated that they would target all commercial ships bound for Israel. The French warship was around 110km from the coast of Yemen when the incident took place.
The interception of drones by this warship and by several US ships gives western navies the chance to use their air defenses. As the Iran-backed Houthi threats increase in the Red Sea, the role of the international community is increasingly important. The US has played a significant and pivotal role in downing drones and missiles, responding to distress calls by ships. However, the Houthi threats are increasing. Their threats to target all ships appear to be an attempt to blockade Israel, potentially leading to conflicts in the future.