The Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (Houthis) announced a supposedly indigenous air-defence system called the Fater-1 on 24 August, but the only components it displayed were surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) that appeared to be identical to the 3M9 used with the 2K12 Kub/Kvadrat (SA-6 ‘Gainful’) system.
Developed by the Soviet Union in the 1960s, the 2K12 was in service with the Yemeni military before the current conflict began in 2015.
US Central Command has previously confirmed that an SA-6 was responsible for downing an MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over Yemen on 6 June. “The altitude of the engagement indicated an improvement over previous Houthi capability, which we assess was enabled by Iranian assistance,” it said in a statement.
The basic 2K12 and improved 2K12M have maximum engagement altitudes of 7,000 m and 8,000 m, respectively, well below the MQ-9’s maximum service ceiling of 15,000 m.
During his 24 August presentation, Ansar Allah military spokesman Yahya Sari said the Fater-1 was also responsible for shooting down another MQ-9 over Dhamar governorate on 20 August. The US military confirmed the loss of the UAV but did not say what caused it.
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