Houthis Intercept American MQ-9A "Reaper" Armed Drone

The drone was conducting advanced reconnaissance and was armed with tactical/anti-tank missiles.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 11:32 AM, February 19, 2024
  • 1961
Houthis Intercept American MQ-9A
MQ-9 Reaper @U.S.A.F.

Houthi air defense systems have allegedly intercepted an American MQ-9A "Reaper" reconnaissance and attack unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in the vicinity of Hodeidah, Yemen.

As of now, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) has not officially confirmed the incident.

The drone was reportedly conducting radio-technical and optical-electronic reconnaissance and was equipped with tactical/anti-tank missiles AGM-114K/L/R9X.

According to reports from the Russian Arms telegram channel, the interception may have been executed using an anti-aircraft modification of the R-27T air combat missile. Estimates suggest several tens to hundreds of units available to mixed anti-aircraft missile batteries of Ansar Allah units.

The incident occurred at an altitude between 7500 and 8500 meters, supporting the theory that an anti-aircraft version of the R-27T URVB missile was employed. There is also a possibility, albeit with lesser probability, that the R-73RDM-1/2 short-range air combat missile or the Iranian version of the AIM-9L with high-altitude interception limits may have been utilized.

The telegram channel emphasized the significance of the interception, noting it transpired while the MQ-9A was on combat duty over Hodeidah.

In a related development, Houthi-affiliated Al Masirah TV reported that Yemeni Naval Forces targeted a British ship, Rubymar, in the Gulf of Aden, causing it to cease operations in solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza.

Brigadier General Yahya Sare’e, spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces, announced in a televised statement that the Naval Forces achieved direct and significant hits on the British ship, causing extensive damage and putting it at risk of sinking. The operation ensured the safe exit of the British ship's crew.

Moreover, the statement from Sare’e also claimed the Yemeni Air Defenses successfully shot down an American MQ-9 aircraft over Hodeidah while it was conducting hostile missions. The Armed Forces reiterated their commitment to supporting the Palestinian cause and condemned the alleged U.S.-British “aggression” against Yemen.

The Yemeni Armed Forces say they are committed to ongoing military actions and qualitative operations against hostile targets. They stress that operations in the Red and Arabian Seas will persist until the aggression ends and the Gaza siege is lifted. The forces aim to block Israeli-bound ships in the Red Sea and Bab Al-Mandab strait until Israeli aggression ceases.

In response to these actions, the United States and the United Kingdom conducted airstrikes in Yemen, warning of consequences for attacks on Israeli-owned ships or vessels heading to the occupied territories.

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