Fake Images and Video Spread of Drone Attack on Navy Aircraft Carrier

Fake Aircraft Carrier Attack
June 5, 2024 Topic: Security Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: U.S. NavyNavyMilitaryDefenseAircraft Carriers

Fake Images and Video Spread of Drone Attack on Navy Aircraft Carrier

Last weekend, Houthi rebels claimed to have struck the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier in the Red Sea with a suicide drone or missile. This week, misleading satellite images emerged, falsely depicting the carrier undergoing urgent repairs.

 

Summary and Key Points: Last weekend, Houthi rebels claimed to have struck the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier in the Red Sea with a suicide drone or missile. This week, misleading satellite images emerged, falsely depicting the carrier undergoing urgent repairs.

Aircraft Carrier

 

-In reality, one image was of the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, and the other was an old photo of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in Norfolk, Virginia, with fabricated damage.

-U.S. Central Command denied the Houthi claims, labeling them as part of a disinformation campaign. Such misinformation serves to undermine U.S. military credibility and could benefit adversaries like Russia and China.

Debunked: Houthi Claims of Striking Aircraft Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower

Last weekend, Houthi rebels claimed they landed a suicide drone hit (some reports suggest a missile attack as well) on the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea.

This week, a couple of satellite pictures that surfaced on X purportedly showed the American aircraft carrier undergoing urgent repairs in Souda Bay, Greece. 

Both pictures were wrong and misleading. 

Misinformation on Aircraft Carrier Attacks 

First things first. In November 2023, Houthi rebels in Yemen started to attack international shipping in and close to the Red Sea as a response to Israel’s military operations in Gaza. 

A U.S.-led coalition quickly reacted to the Houthis with precision strikes on their positions. Those operations have continued, with mixed success. The Yemeni rebels continue to pose a danger to international shipping, firing ballistic anti-ship missiles and suicide drones. 

The U.S. Navy has deployed assets in the region to combat Houthi activity along with allies and partners. At least one U.S. aircraft carrier supports the operation with airstrikes. Over the weekend, the Houthis claimed to have struck USS Dwight D. Eisenhower

However, the satellite pictures displayed by two X accounts do not show what they claim to show. The first picture doesn’t even depict the correct warship, but rather shows the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov undergoing repairs in the Russian port of Murmansk. The second picture is indeed of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, but it is an old picture of the warship harbored in Norfolk, Virginia. Moreover, the alleged damage on the bow of the aircraft carrier is the crude work of a rather incompetent graphic designer.  

U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for operations in the Middle East and West Asia, categorically denied the claims that the Houthis hit the U.S. aircraft carrier. 

“There is no truth to the Houthi claim of striking the USS Eisenhower or any U.S. Navy vessel,” a U.S. Central Command spokesperson told Voice of America. “This is an ongoing disinformation campaign that the Houthis have been conducting for months.”

Both videos were viewed by millions of online users, sparking discussions on the internet about the capabilities and readiness of U.S. aircraft carriers.

The Denial and Broader Geopolitics 

Misinformation that a U.S. aircraft carrier was hit by a rebel drone or missile would certainly be useful to Russia and China. America’s two near-peer adversaries would benefit from highlighting vulnerabilities on some of the U.S. military’s most fearsome weapons systems, both to boast about their own capabilities and to try to influence neutral countries or U.S. partners that might be on the fence.

As the best propaganda always does, the Houthi claims rely on tangential truths. Yes, the Houthis have impressive capabilities for an insurgent group. Yes, they have used those capabilities to target and strike international shipping. Yes, Western warships have come under direct fire. But evidence shows that USS Dwight D. Eisenhower was never hit by a suicide drone or missile. 

Aircraft Carrier

About the Author 

Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations and a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ). He holds a BA from the Johns Hopkins University and an MA from the Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.

Image Credit: X Screenshot/Fake Attack on U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier.