“Our eyes are open to constantly monitor and search for any Israeli ship in the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandab in particular, and what is adjacent to Yemeni territorial waters.”
This was what the leader of the Houthis in Yemen, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, said in a speech on the occasion of the anniversary of the martyr recently. This type of statement is common, but this time it caught the attention of the Israelis and Americans after what happened during the previous short period since October 7.
Since that date, the Houthi movement has launched several missile attacks targeting Israel coinciding with Operation Al-Aqsa Flood and the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, using cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, which are two distinct types of missiles. The first follows a directed flight path at a relatively low altitude, so it can move around… Obstacles and terrain, and the second follows a curved path, ascending to a great height at first and then descending towards the target.
Houthi missiles reached southern Israel, specifically the port of Eilat, which attracted the attention of military and political planners in the United States and the occupying power, as targeting that region required the missiles to travel approximately 1,800 kilometers north from Yemen along the Red Sea, more or less depending on the direction of the strike.
A group of these missiles were confronted by the Arrow-3 system, which was used for the first time in this battle. The system launches anti-ballistic missiles that exceed the speed of sound, and can strike targets outside the atmosphere, with a range of up to 2,400 kilometers. In addition, it was shot down. The US destroyer USS Carney, stationed in the Red Sea, fired four cruise missiles and several drones from Yemen towards Israel. As a result, the Houthis announced that they were able to shoot down an American MQ-9 Reaper drone on November 8.
This drew attention to a large military parade by the Houthis last September 21. No one would have known that it would be of interest to researchers in this area by November, during which the Houthis revealed new capabilities in their arsenal of missiles and drones capable of hitting distant targets. This means that many areas and targets are within range of Houthi missiles, only if the group decides to use its arsenal against these targets.
The first of these missiles, which are believed to have participated in the strike on the occupying state, are the “Toofan” medium-range ballistic missiles with a range of 1,350-1,950 kilometers, which are similar in design to the Iranian “Qadr” missiles. They are believed to have a first stage that operates on liquid fuel. A second stage runs on solid fuel, allowing it to have a large range. The length of the missile is about 16 meters, and its width is about one and a half metres.
Ballistic missiles work according to a simple principle, which is that they are launched in an arc path, exiting the atmosphere and then returning again to the Earth to strike the target, on a pre-determined path (which makes it relatively easy to predict its path and intercept it), and once it arrives, the missile releases its payload. This type of missile can be launched from various platforms, such as a land platform, a submarine, or a silo. In the case of the “Toofan” missile, it is launched from a mobile ground platform, which can be ready for operation in just 30 minutes.
This missile is currently designed to carry a conventional warhead, but it is capable of being armed with a chemical or nuclear warhead as well, weighing up to about 800 kilograms. We note that the front of the missile is a pointed cone, making it resemble a feeding bottle. This allows the warhead to re-enter the atmosphere more quickly, and enables The warhead has the ability to explode in the air above its target. If the missile manages to reach its target, the error rate in the exact strike location is within a circle with a diameter of 80-100 meters2.
Development of the missile arsenal
The Houthis also possess “Quds” cruise missiles, and several versions of these missiles are available, some of which have a range of about 1,650 kilometers, and it is believed that they are what the USS Carney was able to target.3 In general, the Houthis are rapidly updating the range of their missile arsenal. Let us consider a short timeline from 2015 until the recent announcement of a “flood.” For example, in 2015, the Houthis announced the release of the “Qaher-1” and “Qaher-M2” missiles, which join a family of Soviet surface-to-air missiles of the “SAM” type. In 755″ modified for ground attack missions, these missiles can reach a range of 250-400 km.
As for the “Burkan 1” missiles, they were announced in 2016, and it is likely that it is a modified version of the Iranian “Shahab-1” missile with a range of up to 800 kilometers, followed by the “Burkan 2H”, which was revealed in 2017, which is a short-range ballistic missile derived from a missile. The Iranian “Qiam” has a range of 1,000 kilometers, and in September 2023, another derivative of the Iranian “Qiam” missile, which also has a range of 1,000 kilometers, was displayed, which was called “Aqeel.”
Since 2019, the Houthis have announced that they possess 4 “Burkan 3” missiles, and it was the longest-range missile in the Houthi arsenal (before the appearance of “Flood”), crossing the 1,200 km barrier, and it is believed that it was used for the first time on August 1, 2019, as the Houthis claimed Use it to hit A Saudi military site in Dammam, located on the eastern coast of the country, about 1,200 kilometers from the areas controlled by the Houthis in Yemen.
All this, and of course, we did not talk about the Houthis’ arsenal of new drones, whose uses vary from monitoring and reconnaissance to combat, strikes, and performing suicide missions, such as the “Sammad” drones of all kinds, which are similar to the Iranian “Shahed” drones, and their range varies between 1,200 kilometers and 1,700 kilometers. The Houthis began… In publishing this walk in mid-2018.
It is believed that the Houthis used this march in Their attack In August 2019, on the Shaybah oil field in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well They announced their use In an attack denied by the UAE authorities on Abu Dhabi International Airport in July 2018.
The Houthis also announced a “Weast” march with a range of 2,500 kilometers. In particular, “Waid” resembles the Iranian “Shahed 136” drone, which was designed to attack ground targets from a long distance as a suicide drone that, once it reaches the target, explodes itself there. It is launched in batches of five or more drones to confuse air defenses by consuming their resources. .
The Yemeni Armed Forces unveil a 100% locally manufactured Eid al-Masirah plane with a range exceeding 2,500 km. It carries several explosive warheads depending on the type of target and carries out precise attack operations. pic.twitter.com/qBepEP3ngW
– Al-Naba Agency (@Naba_yem) March 11, 2021
With a length of about three and a half metres, and a width of about two and a half metres, the March 5 is characterized by a wing in the shape of a short triangle, integrated into the central fuselage. The march contains in its front a warhead estimated to weigh 30-50 kg, while the engine is located at the back of the drone’s fuselage and is driven by a propeller. Double-bladed pusher. The main role of this march is to attack fixed ground targets, whose coordinates are known, and it is ineffective against moving targets.
In addition, the Houthi naval forces possess new tools, as one year ago they displayed combat boats of the types “Asif”, “Mallah” and more recently “Nazir”, which have the ability to carry medium and light weapons and can fire 107 mm Katyusha rockets, which either They can be destructive or incendiary, and some of them can carry air defense systems, and are used to strike and control ships. In addition, the Houthis have self-driving boats for combat and maritime reconnaissance purposes.
The Houthis also announced that they possess sea mines of the types “Masjoor”, “Thaqib”, “Karrar”, “Mujahid” and others. Different types of sea mines are a self-contained explosive device placed in the water to damage or destroy surface ships or submarines. Mines are located at various depths in the water, and are activated when a ship is sensed. Each type has a specific depth and activation mechanism.
In addition to the above, the Houthis possess Rubig 6 missiles, a Russian coastal defense system that uses KH-35UI anti-ship missiles, has a range of up to 260 kilometers, and operates using sea skimming technology, meaning it travels near the surface of the water to avoid radar. Each of them carries a 145-kg high-explosive warhead that is designed to penetrate barriers and compartments horizontally before detonating inside the ship.
The Houthi offer also included new versions of anti-ship guided missiles7, such as “Tankeel,” along with other types such as “Hatem,” “Faliq,” and “Sayyad,” which are winged missiles equipped with a radar or thermal seeker, with a total range of 200-400 kilometers. They all resemble Iranian missiles with the same specifications. The display also included “Quds 4” land-attack cruise missiles that can engage land and sea targets, and are part of the family of cruise missiles developed by Iran with a range of 800 kilometers.
From the above, we conclude that the Houthis are developing their military arsenal, especially in two areas, namely missile range and maritime capabilities. It is certain that they now have the ability to reach the Israeli occupation state via missiles or suicide marches, in addition to their ability to target any ships passing off Yemen in the sea. the Red.
However, despite this, the Houthi missiles are not accurate enough, and despite their wide range, they can be intercepted with a degree of relative ease. However, this does not neutralize the Houthis’ threat to Israel or the United States, for two main reasons. The first is that their arsenal is developing rapidly, and the second is that it remains a great danger. Even with its current capabilities, it could exhaust many of the Israeli air defense resources, especially with the huge difference in the cost of manufacturing drones, for example, versus interceptor missiles. This opens a new, unexpected front in the south of the Arabian Peninsula, a long way from the center of the conflict in the occupied Palestinian territories.
- 1- What Are the Missiles the Houthis Have Fired at Israel?
- 2- Qadr Medium-range ballistic missile
- 3- Little and large missile surprises in Sanaa and Tehran
- 4- The Missile War in Yemen – Ian Williamsand Shaan Shaikh Published June 9, 2020
- 5- Shahed 136 Loitering munition
- 6- Light Coastal Defense System “Rubezh-ME” Unveiled At IMDS 2019
- 7- The Houthis’ Red Sea missile and drone attack: Drivers and implications