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US Navy Provides Tweaks, Aegis Updates to Red Sea Vessels After Houthi Attacks

US Navy destroyers have performed operational tweaks and software updates to counter Houthi missile and drone attacks in the Red Sea.

A Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC)-led team recommended the adjustments based on US ship and aircraft engagements with the Yemen-based militant group since October.

Data collected from radars, sensors, and combat systems was mined for the recommendations, including modifying a ship’s operational tactics and configurations, such as setting up and operating the SPY radar, Defense News wrote.

“The Red Sea is probably one of the most difficult areas of the world when it comes to atmospherics and issues with radars,” the outlet quoted SMWDC commander Rear Adm. Wilson Marks as saying.

“So our continued emphasis on how you set up your radar system in that type of environment has really been critical,” he added.

Tailored Tweaks

The countermeasures were tailored to the adversary’s specific capabilities “because of those atmospheric conditions, and also based on the adversary they’re going against, we make sure that we tailor our systems to look for the capabilities that the adversary has,” Marks said.

“You would look at the current adversary and say, ‘Hey, maybe we need to focus a little bit more on certain speed characteristics or things like that that they’re seeing over in the Red Sea.”

Aegis Update

The Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems and Lockheed Martin rolled out the Aegis Speed to Capability process, allowing “small changes to be rapidly fielded” to the fleet’s Aegis Combat System.

Faster updates improved the vessels’ counter-drone capability, “and we’re finding those to be very successful. And so that was an investment that was made several years ago that is really paying off now,” Defense News quoted Marks as saying.

He said that the Houthi engagements since October show the “tactics, techniques and procedures that we have in place are solid. Any changes that need to be made to those are kind of in the margins, and basically just making sure people fully understand how to utilize them.”

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