LONDON (Agencies): The United Kingdom plans to spend $514 million to modernize the Sea Viper anti-aircraft missile system that UK forces previously used to shoot down drones in the Red Sea amid a deteriorating situation in the Middle East region, UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said.

On January 10, Shapps said that a UK destroyer operating in the Red Sea alongside US warships managed to repel “the largest attack” staged in the region by Yemen’s Houthi.

The contract was reportedly signed with the UK division of the MBDA missile maker, the report said. The Sea Viper missile system will receive new missiles and software to counter ballistic missile threats.

The Houthis vowed in November 2023 to attack any ships associated with Israel until it halts the invasion of Gaza.

In January, the US and UK began airstrikes on Houthi positions in Yemen to degrade their fighting capabilities. Russia condemned both the Houthi actions in the Red Sea and the Western aggression against Yemen, dubbing the latter “another example of the Anglo-Saxons’ distortion of UN Security Council resolutions and complete disregard for international law”.

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