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Houthi Troops Celebrate With Captured Navy Underwater Drone in Video

Screen grab of video showing Houthi Navy celebrating with what appears to be a captured U.S. Navy underwater drone.
Screen grab of video showing Houthi Navy celebrating with what appears to be a captured U.S. Navy underwater drone.

A new video has surfaced showing members of the Houthi Navy celebrating, fists in the air, with what appears to be a captured U.S. Navy underwater drone.

The video, published by Houthi media Monday and highlighted by USNI News, shows four armed men in dive gear hanging on the bright-yellow unmanned underwater vehicle.

The UUV, which appears to be a Remus 600 made by the Kongsberg subsidiary Hydroid, was captured off the coast of Yemen, according to the men in the video, who speak Arabic.

Al-Masdar Al-'Arabi reported that members of the Houthi Navy claimed the drone belonged to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, a group that has been fighting the Houthi rebels.

However, on the video, the men say the UUV was sent by their "archenemy" American military.

They go on to threaten the United States, saying they plan to kick the U.S. military out of the Middle East.

"Allahu akbar," they shout.

Related video:

The Shia-led Houthi rebels in Yemen have a recent history of aggression with the U.S. Navy: In October 2016, cruise missiles were fired at Navy ships from Houthi-controlled territory on the coast of Yemen. A day later, the Navy retaliated, firing Tomahawk cruise missiles from the destroyer USS Nitze and taking out three radar sites where the missiles originated.

Earlier the same month, Houthis claimed they destroyed a former Navy catamaran, HSV-2 Swift, in a missile attack. The vessel was in use by the United Arab Emirates at the time of the attack.

The Remus 600, a system approximately 14 feet long and at least 530 pounds, was developed through funding by the Office of Naval Research. It can submerge to a depth of 600 feet; it has been used for ocean mapping and is also equipped for missions including mine countermeasures and salvage.

USNI News cited a defense official who said the system was being used as part of a meteorological study.

Navy officials referred comment on the system's capture to U.S. Navy Central Command, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Navy has been aggressively pursuing new UUVs for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, as well as for mine countermeasures and other mission sets.

In 2016, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the Pentagon planned to invest $600 million over the next five years in UUVs in a wide range of sizes and payload capacities.

The Remus 600 has been in use by the Navy since at least 2015, when the service test-launched the system from a submarine, the USS North Dakota.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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