Naval operation decided: Frigate Hessen F 221 sets course for the Red Sea and takes part in protecting merchant ships from attacks by the Houthi militias from Yemen.

The 143 meter long German frigate Hessen has been anchored in Greece off the holiday island of Crete for several days. There is a NATO base here and the frigate is in the company of other NATO naval ships, including the US Navy. On Friday, the Bundestag finally approved the deployment of the frigate Hessen in the Red Sea with a large majority. So nothing stands in the way of one of the German Navy’s most dangerous missions and the frigate F 221 Hessen set course for the Suez Canal on Saturday. Before that, however, a short visit from Defense Minister Boris Pistorius was on the agenda. The Defense Minister spoke to the frigate captain and crew members on the frigate.

Frigate Hessen (F 221) Sachsen-class ship

Frigate Hessen (F 221) Sachsen-class ship

Potential threat from drones and missiles from Yemen

According to Pistorius, the Hessen frigate is well prepared for operations in the Red Sea. And finally, air defense and airspace surveillance are one of the main tasks of the frigate Hessen, one of three boats of the Sachsen class prepared for use in the Red Sea. However, everyone involved is also aware that German naval ships have never before been exposed to such a threat on such a large scale. Finally, kamikaze drones and missiles are regularly fired at merchant ships from Yemen. In addition, ballistic anti-ship missiles are said to have already been used. Naval ships from the US Navy and the Royal Navy have also been attacked from Yemen, but all attacks have so far been repelled and the threat neutralized.

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Hi I am Chris from Kiel in Germany.