Houthi’s Down Saudi Combat Drone Over Yemen, Evidence of Advanced Air Defenses


The Houthis announced late on November 30 that their Air Defense Force had shot down an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) of the Saudi-led coalition over the northwestern Yemeni province of Hajjah.

A spokesman for the Yemeni group said that the UCAV, a Chinese-made Wing Loong, was downed while it was carrying out “hostile acts” over the district of Hayran in northern Hajjah.

“The hostilE warplane was targeted with a ground-to-air missile that will be revealed later,” Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari said, adding that a video of the operation will be released soon.

Developed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, Wing Loong has a maximum range of 4,000 km and an endurance of up to 20 hours. The UCAV can be armed with air-to-surface laser-guided missiles and other types of munitions.


Earlier this week, the Houthis shot down a Saudi AH-64 Apache attack helicopter over northern Yemen. The helicopter’s pilot and gunner were both killed in the incident.

The Houthis are apparently working to further develop their air-defense capabilities, in terms of quality and quantity. The Yemen group had warned that 2020 would be the year of “air-defense.”

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