Yemeni air force has developed new surface-to-air missile

The Yemeni Air Force and Air Defense opposed to the Arab coalition, introduced a new locally developed surface-to-air missile, according a news released on the website of the Official Yemen Press Agency SABA, January 10, 2018. The new missile would have shotdown Tornado combat aircraft of Saudi-led coalition while it was flying over Saada province and hit another enemy F-15 plane over the capital Sanaa.

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Screenshot of the Yemeni Air Force video showing the moment when the missile hits the fighter aircraft (Picture source video footage YouTube)

On Monday, January 8, 2017, Yemen’s army spokesman assistant, Colonel Aziz Rashid, has announced the development and manufacturing of a new air defense missile able to destroy modern military aircraft. Despite Saudi coalition attacks to get the Yemen’s Air Defense System out of service, the unit continues to be operational and now is able to destroy enemy military aircrafts.

According a Yemeni statement, the Yemeni Air Force and Air Defense Unit vowed to keep developing the air defense arsenal to defend the homeland against any foreign aggression.

On January 8, 2018, the Houthis released the thermal infrared video footage, via its Al Masirah television network, showing the destruction of Saudi aircraft F-15S, which shows the FLIR Systems logo in the frame which could explain that the missile is equipped with a guidance system.

The complete video also shows a FLIR sensor turret on an improvised ground mount that could have record the missile shot result. The Saudi state-run news agency SPA confirmed the crash of one figter, but said it was the result of a technical fault, not enemy fire.

The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle is an American twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter aircraft designed by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing). In October 2010, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Saudi Arabia including 84 F-15SA fighter. The contract also included the upgrade of the existing Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) fleet of seventy (70) F-15S multi-role fighters to the F-15SA configuration

According latest information about the air defense capability of the Yemeni Air Force and Air Defense, they are equipped with Soviet-made S75 (SA-2) short-range surface-to-air defense missile system, Chinese Man-portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) FN-6 or Russian SA-7 (Strela-2).

In December 2017, US has presented evidence that officials said proved that Iran had supplied short-range ballistic missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen.