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We Might Have Just Seen the World's First Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Attack


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U.S. Navy destroyer Mason (DDG-87) was wrapping up a mission rescuing a tanker from pirates in the Gulf of Aden when the situation sharply escalated. The ship’s radar detected at least one—or possibly two—missiles moving toward its position at supersonic speeds, each loaded with well over a half-ton of explosives.

The day before, Liberian-flagged tanker M/V Central Park—stuffed full of phosphoric acid—had issued a distress call after reportedly being boarded by unknown armed assailants 35 miles south of Yemen’s coast and 50 miles east of Djibouti. Central Park’s crew of 22 took shelter in the vessel’s ‘citadel’, an armored panic room.

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