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Houthis unveil Russian air-to-air missiles as SAMs

28 February 2020
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The Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (the Houthis) unveiled improvised surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) it claims have made a significant impact in its war against the Saudi-led coalition.

The Thaqib-2 is a re-roled R-27 air-to-air missile. (Ansar Allah)The Thaqib-2 is a re-roled R-27 air-to-air missile. (Ansar Allah)

The missiles were shown in videos and photographs released by the group on 23 February. The three missiles referred to as the Thaqib-1 and three labelled as the Thaqib-2 were respectively R-73-series (AA-11 ‘Archer’) and R-27-series (AA-10 ‘Alamo’) short-range infrared homing air-to-air missiles.

The three missiles displayed as Thaqib-3s were R-77 (AA-12 ‘Adder’) medium-range radar-guided air-to-air missiles.

Ansar Allah was open about the missiles’ Russian origins, rather than claiming them to be indigenously manufactured weapons, and recognised that their ranges would be reduced when used as SAMs.

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