Yemeni rebels unveil cruise missile, long-range UAVs

by Jeremy Binnie

The Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (popularly known as the Houthis) unveiled on 7 July weapons that it has been using to attack Saudi Arabia in recent months, including a ground-launched cruise missile that may have been used to attack Abha International Airport on 12 June.

The Quds ground-launched cruise missile displayed by Ansar Allah on 7 July. (Ansar Allah)

The Quds ground-launched cruise missile displayed by Ansar Allah on 7 July. (Ansar Allah)

Saudi military spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki previously identified the cruise missile used in that attack as an Iranian Ya Ali. However, the Quds cruise missile displayed by Ansar Allah looked substantially different from the Ya Ali that was unveiled by Iran in 2014. Most notably its engine was mounted on top of the missile, rather than inside it with an air intake below.

The Quds was also probably shorter, had a smaller solid-propellent booster and differently shaped wings and fins. The fins looked similar to one that was recovered from the missile that hit Abha airport and shown by Col Maliki during his 24 June briefing.

Col Maliki identified the engine on the cruise missile as a TJ100: a type of turbojet made by the PBS Group in the Czech Republic. The Quds cruise missile had an engine that looked similar to the TJ100 but which could be a copy. PBS told Jane’s that it has never exported engines to Iran or its allies and would co-operate with any investigation.

A Sammad-3 long-range UAV with the bulge over its wing box is seen in front of a smaller Sammad-2. (Ansar Allah)

A Sammad-3 long-range UAV with the bulge over its wing box is seen in front of a smaller Sammad-2. (Ansar Allah)

Various missiles were displayed, including the new Badr-F ballistic missile seen at the back on the right behind the far smaller Badr-1P. The Burkan-2H and Burkan-2 ballistic missiles are on the left. The Sammad-3 UAVs and Quds cruise missile have yet to be unveiled in this photograph. (Ansar Allah)

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The Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (popularly known as the Houthis) unveiled on 7 July weapons that ...

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