U.S. Warships in Eastern Mediterranean Down Iranian Ballistic Missiles

April 14, 2024 8:57 PM - Updated: April 14, 2024 10:23 PM
USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) transits the Mediterranean Sea, Feb. 26, 2024. US Marine Corps Photo

USS Carney (DDG-64) and USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) shot down between four and six Iranian-launched ballistic missiles, a senior military official told reporters Sunday.

Both ships were in the Mediterranean. Carney most recently made a port visit to Palermo, Sicily, Italy, on April 10. Arleigh Burke is forward deployed to Rota, Spain.

A senior military official said that land- and sea-based aircraft were also involved in the U.S. response. USNI News understands that the aircraft did not come from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69). The aircraft carrier is in the Red Sea as part of the country’s Operation Prosperity Guardian, which aims to protect ships and commercial vessels from the Houthis.

U.S. Central and European commands shot down 80 one-way attack uncrewed aerial vehicles, in addition to the ballistic missiles, Central Command said in a release. Drones came from Iran and Yemen.

“On April 13 and the morning of April 14, U.S. Central Command forces, supported by U.S. European Command destroyers, successfully engaged and destroyed more than 80 one-way attack uncrewed aerial vehicles and at least six ballistic missiles intended to strike Israel from Iran and Yemen,” reads a statement from CENTCOM. 

U.S. forces destroyed a ballistic missile and seven drones in Yemen that had not launched.

Iran launched more than 300 munitions that included at least 100 ballistic missiles, land attack cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, a senior administration official said during the call.

The Iranian strike was in retaliation for an Israeli strike on the Iranian embassy in Syria.

Both Carney and Arleigh Burke are equipped with a ballistic missile defense capability and field Standard Missile 3 ballistic missile interceptors. It’s unclear if the ships used the SM-3s to interdict the Iranian missiles. Arleigh Burke’s assignment to Rota is part of the U.S. European Phased Adaptive Approach to ballistic missile defense. In addition to the destroyers in Spain, the U.S. also has two Aegis Ashore batteries in Poland and Romania to intercept ballistic missiles.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
Follow @hmongilio

Get USNI News updates delivered to your inbox