British Navy Ship Hit by Unknown Projectile in the Gulf of Aden

The British Maritime Merchant Operations Agency (UKMTO), which is part of the navy, said the ship had been hit by an "unknown projectile in the stern" but said there was no word yet on any casualties.

by Sededin Dedovic
British Navy Ship Hit by Unknown Projectile in the Gulf of Aden
© Handout / Getty Images

The British Royal Navy announced on Sunday that a vessel caught fire after being hit by a missile in the Gulf of Aden. The UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which is part of the navy, reported that the ship was struck by an "unknown projectile in the stern" on Saturday, approximately 70 nautical miles (130 kilometers) southwest of Aden, Yemen.

The impact resulted in a fire, UKMTO stated, adding that there were no reports of casualties. Damage control was ongoing, and the ship was sailing to its next port of call. The agency did not release details about the attack on the ship but advised caution when navigating in the area.

The Gulf of Aden, near the Yemeni coast, connects the Arabian and Red Seas. Iran-backed Houthis have repeatedly fired at commercial ships in the area since the war in Gaza began in October. The Houthis stated that the attacks were in support of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, as they made it more difficult for cargo ships to reach Israel.

At the end of March, UKMTO reported that the number of maritime incidents in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden had increased by 475% since the Yemeni Houthis began attacking commercial vessels. The route along Yemen is one of the most important maritime routes for global trade.

The war conditions in the Black Sea and the Gulf of Aden have forced shipping companies, such as Mediterranean Shipping Company, Maersk, and Hapag-Lloyd, to cancel cargo ship traffic through the area. This significantly increases transportation costs, with 12% of the world's trade passing through the Red Sea.

In monetary terms, around 1 trillion dollars' worth of goods pass through the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, which connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. This route handles the vast majority of trade between the EU and China. It is crucial for tankers transporting oil and gas, leading to increased prices for these energy resources following the escalation.

Oil companies British Petroleum (BP) and Equinor have also halted their tankers' traffic through the Black Sea, redirecting them towards the Cape of Good Hope in southern Africa. This extends the transport duration by about ten days and an additional 3,500 nautical miles, leading to increased costs and delivery delays.