Update: Yemeni rebels unveil new missile

02 November 2018

Key Points

  • Ansar Allah has unveiled a guided version of its Badr-1 artillery rocket
  • The weapon appears to be capable of accurately hitting military bases

The Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (Houthis) unveiled a guided version of its Badr-1 artillery rocket on 28 October, potentially giving it a weapon system that can carry out precision strikes on Saudi Arabia.

The group released a video showing a spokesman holding a press conference while standing in front of the new Badr-1P. He said it was developed from the Badr-1, has a range of more than 130 km, and an accuracy of 3 m.

The presentation included footage of what was said to be a Badr-1P being launched against a disused military facility in a test and then on 27 October against a camp on Yemen's Red Sea coast purportedly used by Sudanese troops serving with the Saudi-led coalition that the rebels are fighting. Both targets were seen being hit in aerial footage.

The latter location could be identified as one 14.5 km south of the port of Al-Hudaydah. Satellite imagery from 27 October shows that significant damage was inflicted on the camp by a weapon with a unitary warhead sometime between 23 and 27 October.

Ansar Allah unveiled the Badr-1 in March and has released footage of a large artillery rocket with a diameter of about 300-350 mm and fixed rear fins that require it being launched from a metal frame - rather than a tube - that spins the projectile. Ansar Allah has repeatedly reported using Badr-1s against Saudi Arabia, although the level of damage caused by these attacks remains unclear.

In contrast, the Badr-1P is launched from a rail with no spin stabilisation and uses pivoting fins behind its warhead to steer itself towards its target.

This article, first published on 30 October 2018, has been updated with new information and imagery.

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