The Hellenic Navy frigate Hydra shot down a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) early Thursday morning in the Gulf of Aden shadowing a nearby a merchant ship, in its second instance of action in the maritime region since the start of the EU’s ASPIDES mission.

The news was announced by the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA), which explained that two UAVs approached the merchant vessel, whereby the Greek warship shot one down one of the UAVs and drove the other away. Afterwards the frigate continued to sail near the merchant vessel for protection.

The first time that the HN Hydra engaged with UAVs was in mid-March, where the frigate fired on them and drove them away, without hitting the targets.

At the time, and according to reports in To Vima, the warship was escorting a commercial vessel owned by Italian interests when it spotted the UAVs and fired at them.

The HN Hydra is part of the European Union’s Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) “OPERATION ASPIDES”, which aims to safeguard international shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The operation is an EU defensive maritime security operation under the EU Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP).

The Hydra is presently patrolling the Gulf of Aden, a primary shipping lane leading to and from the Suez Canal that has been transformed into a volatile zone due to attacks by Yemen-based Houthi rebels, which means it is expected to continue having a vital role in security the safety of vessels in the region.

The Hydra closely escorts commercial vessels and collaborates with allied vessels in the area, including French, German, and Italian ships, alongside US and UK vessels participating in Operation “Prosperity Guardian.”

In the coming three months, the Greek frigate will be relieved by another warship, the frigate “Psara,” as announced by Greece’s Ministry of Defense. The Psara is currently undergoing expedited upgrades and maintenance.

The land headquarters for the Aspides operation is in the central Greece city of Larissa.