The rebels that have taken up arms against Yemen’s central government have captured an unarmed US Navy undersea drone. The footage of the captured drone was seen on social media earlier this week. A video appeared on YouTube on 2nd January, which has now been removed. At the time of the video, it was thought to have belonged to a coalition of Saudi Arabia and the UAE fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen. It was only recently identified as the US REMUS 600 drone.
According to the US Naval Institute News, the drone was being used as a part of a meteorological study. The earlier posted video showed four scuba divers surrounding the underwater drone. These were described as the members of the Houthi Navy.
We are still unable to comment on what the drone was actually doing there and whether it was assisting the coalition forces or not. The US is assisting the coalition forces in their fight against the rebels. The REMUS 600 is the most advanced unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) in production so it is not hard to believe that such a sophisticated piece of technology was venturing out so far to provide reconnaissance support.
The drone has the ability to dive to a depth of 1,968 feet and can operate on its own for 20 hours from onboard rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs. These battery packs provide power for the payload and drive the electric motor and 12-inch carbon fiber propeller. It can be launched from the shore or a carrier vehicle and has a range of 80 to 110 nautical miles.
The US Navy has been using the Remus 600 since 2015 as a part of including more underwater drones in its fleet. It is a multipurpose drone and can carry out a wide array of missions. It is still unclear on how it was intercepted by the rebels. To be fair, it only travels at 4.5 knots and it is easy to capture if the operators don’t know trouble is approaching.
That is all we know for now. Maybe we will have more information if the rebels release more details.