Photos: U.S. Navy Seizes 50 Tons of Ammunition in the Gulf of Oman

Ammunition seized laid out on dockside
Image courtesy of U.S Navy

Published Dec 4, 2022 1:55 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Navy announced on Saturday that naval forces in the Middle East had intercepted a fishing trawler smuggling more than 50 tons of ammunition rounds, fuses, and propellants for rockets in the Gulf of Oman along a maritime route from Iran to Yemen. Forces operating from the expeditionary sea base USS Lewis B. Puller carried out the interdiction, marking U.S. 5th Fleet's second weapons seizure in a month.

Forces from Lewis B. Puller found more than one million rounds of 7.62mm ammunition; 25,000 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition; nearly 7,000 proximity fuses for rockets; and over 2,100 kilos of propellant used to launch rocket-propelled grenades.

Image courtesy USN

Image courtesy USN

Image courtesy USN

"This significant interdiction clearly shows that Iran's unlawful transfer of lethal aid and destabilizing behavior continues," Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, said. "U.S. naval forces remain focused on deterring and disrupting dangerous and irresponsible maritime activity in the region. The direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of weapons to the Houthis in Yemen violates U.N. Security Council Resolution 2216 and international law."

This follows a seizure last month in which U.S. forces intercepted a fishing vessel illegally shipping lethal aid from Iran to Yemen.

A weeklong search assisted by the coastal patrol ship USS Hurricane (P.C. 3) and Navy explosive ordnance disposal technicians from 5th Fleet discovered more than 70 tons of ammonium perchlorate, a powerful oxidizer commonly used to make rocket and missile fuel as well as explosives. U.S. forces also found more than 100 tons of urea fertilizer, a chemical compound with agricultural applications that can also be used as an explosives precursor.