WW3: Hezbollah Flaunts Anti-Ship Missile in Major Threat to US Warships

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WW3: Hezbollah Flaunts Anti-Ship Missile in Major Threat to US Warships

The video, which has yet to be verified, was posted after the US Gerard Ford Carrier Group was stationed in the Mediterranean Sea, close to Israel.

While there are no specific threats made in the video, the Iran-supported militant organization possesses Russian anti-ship missiles, which can be used to target US warships and carriers in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Daily Fetched reported last week that Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned of a major escalation on Israel’s border with Lebanon, announcing that the Jewish state is “now on more than one front” while making a threat to American warships.

Hassan Nasrallah praised the Alaqsa Flood, the name given for Hamas’s deadly attack on Israel last month, saying it was a ‘glorious jihadi operation’ that had led to an ‘earthquake’ in the Jewish state.

“We are well prepared for US warships as well,” the Hezbollah chief said.

Two individuals in Lebanon familiar with the Iran-backed group’s arsenal, said Ezbollah’s anti-ship missile capabilities include the 300-kilometer (186-mile) Russian-made Yakhont missile.

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Hezbollah has made significant progress in its ability to attack ships since 2006, one source said. The group proved it could hit an Israeli warship in the Mediterranean.

Eurasian Times reported

For many years, media and analysts have reported that Hezbollah purchased Yakhont missiles from Syria following its deployment there over ten years. Hezbollah, on its part, has never officially confirmed having this weapon.

Media reports published over the years suggest otherwise. In 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that Hezbollah received advanced guided missiles from Syria.

The report noted that US officials believe that “as many as 12 anti-ship guide-missiles systems may now be in Hezbollah’s possession inside Syria.”

Moreover, the sources that monitor the arms trade between Russia and its Syrian partner claimed in 2014 that Bashar al-Assad’s forces received 72 Yakhont missiles in 2011 along with their SS-C-5 coastal defense systems.

Although Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) was known to be destroying them in aerial strikes conducted between 2011 and 2013, a stock of these missiles is likely to have survived.

The WSJ report stated that Hezbollah had allegedly smuggled these missiles into Lebanon piecemeal with assistance from Iran’s Quds Force to avoid being targeted further.

In 2017, reports citing some unnamed Western intelligence officials hinted that Hezbollah had the Yakhont anti-ship missile.

The reports noted that these missiles eroded Israel’s sought-after ‘Qualitative Military Edge’ and threatened its gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea and the Israeli Navy’s ability to operate in the region.

All these years later, Hezbollah’s Russian-origin Yakhont missile had become an object of discussion again as the militant group accused the US of aiding Israel’s attacks on Gaza.

Hezbollah leader Nasrallah said in a speech last week that the US warships in the Mediterranean “do not scare us, and will not scare us.”

“We have prepared for the fleets with which you threaten us.”

The Yakhont anti-ship missile is the export version of the deadly P-800 Oniks developed by Russia. Since it is fire-and-forget, the launch platform can flee to safety once the missile has been launched.

The Yakhont uses satellite guidance at takeoff and radar to monitor its target actively in the last stages of its flight.

According to Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, the Yakhont naval anti-ship missile system (ASM) with anti-ship cruise missile is intended to attack single ships, high-radar-contrast ground targets, and various surface ships and transports that are a component of landing teams, convoys, and naval task forces.

The Yakhont ASM system has increased combat effectiveness owing to features like the missile’s high supersonic speed, adaptable flight patterns, small radar cross-section, and autonomous jam-resistant guidance system that combines an inertial navigation system and radar seeker.

The missile functions entirely automatically after it has acquired a target.

Surface ships, submarines, and stationary and mobile launchers on the ground can all be equipped with the Yakhont ASM system. Both vertical and slanted launchers can be used to fire missiles.

The missile approaches its targets in two separate ways. It can fly continuously just above the ocean, reducing its range to 120 kilometers at the expense of reduced radar visibility.

It may take off from a high altitude and descend to the target.

The maximum range of the Yakhont with this method is 300 km. If news about Hezbollah having these missiles is accurate, US vessels are in the firing range of these missiles.

The Yakhont system comprises unified anti-ship cruise missiles in transport-launch containers (TLC), ship- and submarine-based launchers, a shipborne missile control system, and ground support equipment with automated test facilities.

The Yakhont missile was first developed in 1993 and can be launched from the air, the ground, or submarines.

The Yakhont missiles can travel more than twice the speed of sound thanks to a ramjet engine. Launched with a seeker built to withstand countermeasures, the missile skims over the waves to evade detection. It is among the world’s most sophisticated anti-ship missiles.