US deploys guided-missile destroyer to Middle East after Iran threats

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The US military has deployed a guided-missile destroyer to the Middle East after attempts by Iran to seize oil tankers increased in recent weeks.

The US Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said on Sunday that the guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) had entered the Middle East operating area on July 14 after transiting the Suez Canal.

“Thomas Hudner is supporting US 5th Fleet to help ensure regional maritime security and stability,” it said on Twitter.

The announcement comes just two days after a senior US military official revealed that A-10 fighter jets had been conducting flights over the Strait of Hormuz for the past week and that a new fleet of F-16s was being dispatched to the Gulf in response to the recent escalation in Iranian efforts to seize oil tankers.

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Earlier this month, Iran tried to seize two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, firing shots at one of them, the US Navy said.

The unnamed official, speaking to reporters under anonymity, explained that the increased air presence will provide the US with enhanced visibility regarding the vessels present in the region, their cargo, and ownership.

“And that kind of lets us assess what vessels might be at risk,” he said.

The USS Thomas Hudner is armed with a range of weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, torpedoes, and guns. Its advanced combat systems are designed to detect, track, and engage threats from the air, surface, and subsurface domains.

Read more:

F-16s being sent to Gulf this weekend in response to Iran ship seizures: Pentagon

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