It was revealed that a boarding team of Royal Marines from 42 Commando RMs had discovered anti-tank weapons and ballistic missile components aboard a speedboat in the Gulf.
The smugglers had been detected by a US military drone, which, according to a Royal Navy source, ‘spotted the skiff moving at speed through international waters in the darkness.’
It was then pursued by HMS Lancaster, which launched its embarked Wildcat helicopter, from 815 Naval Air Squadron, as the speedboat made a dash for Iranian territorial waters.
According to the Royal Navy ‘bomb disposal and ordnance specialists checked the weapons to ensure they were safe to bring them back onboard Lancaster for inspection.’
The RN source added: ‘The haul included Iranian versions of Russian 9M133 Kornet anti-tank guided missiles – known in Iran as ‘Dehlavieh’ – and medium-range ballistic missile components.’
• For an article on Royal Navy, US Navy and French Navy interceptions of Iranian arms fuelling the war in Yemen, and being used to attack neighbouring countries, see the April edition of Warships IFR out on 17.3.23