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With New “Smart” Missile, Yemen Hopes to Level Playing Field in Saudi War

With New “Smart” Missile, Yemen Hopes to Level Playing Field in Saudi War

With New “Smart” Missile, Yemen Hopes to Level Playing Field in Saudi War
October 30
15:49 2018

SANA’A, YEMEN Living under the constant threat of airstrikes as well as a crippling blockade by the Saudi coalition has forced Yemen’s Resistance to build its burgeoning domestic military capability, as hope wanes that the Saudi-led attacks, which have killed and injured thousands of civilians since the coalition began its war in March 2015, will let up.

In the latest evidence that Yemen’s military is taking an increasingly offensive stance, on Saturday Yemen’s Operations Command Center revealed a new domestically-manufactured short-range “smart” missile dubbed the Badr P-1.  Designed to target Saudi coalition military targets with unprecedented precision and minimize collateral damage, the missile purportedly boasts a pinpoint accuracy of 3 meters. It utilizes a solid propellant, an upgrade from the previous Badr-1 short-range missile.

Yemen’s army announced in a statement Saturday that the Badr P-1 was made operational after many successful tests. Yemen’s Operations Command Center distributed footage of the Badr P-1 filmed by a Yemeni Air Force unmanned aerial vehicle as it targeted a military camp belonging to Sudanese mercenaries on Yemen’s west coast.

Watch | Footage provided by the media bureau of Yemen’s Operations Command Center shows a Sudanese mercenary camp targeted with a Badr P-1


Mahdi al Mashad, President of the Supreme Political Council, the highest political authority in Sana’a, said during a visit to the military manufacturing department of the Yemeni defense minister, that more smart missile systems would soon be revealed, promising that they would “change the map” of the Saudi-led coalition’s war on Yemen.

For its part, the Yemeni Rocketry Force said that the Saudi-led coalition had pushed its units to acquire smart missile technology and manufacture and develop other ballistic missiles, adding:

The continued support of the West to the coalition, especially the Americans, and their disregard for the suffering of the Yemenis will drive us to manufacture and possess more sophisticated weapons to protect our people.”

The coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States and other Western powers, has killed tens of thousands of Yemeni civilians since 2015 when the war began. Moreover, the coalition’s blockade of food and medicine has plagued the country with an unprecedented famine and triggered a deadly outbreak of preventable disease that has cost thousands their lives.

Overall, the ongoing Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen has resulted in the death of 15,185 civilians, including 3,527 children and 2,277 women, according to the Legal Center for Rights and Development in Yemen, a non-governmental organization monitoring human-rights violations immediately after their occurrence.

Moreover, 23,822 civilians, among them 3,526 children and 2,587 women, have sustained injuries and are suffering from a shortage of medical supplies and treatment resulting from a crippling Saudi land, air, and sea blockade. The Center further noted that the Saudi-led coalition has caused the deaths of nearly 2,200 Yemenis from cholera.

 

A vital component of Yemen’s defense

Owing to near-daily attacks on Yemen’s civilian population, officials and citizens alike consider the domestic missile program a vital component of national defense against the well-equipped Saudi coalition, which enjoys virtually unfettered access to advanced U.S. and British arms.

As a result of the need to defend the country, Yemen’s military modified the “Borkan H-1-2” (or “Volcano H-1”) scud missile and used it to strike a military base near Riyadh, over 800 km from Yemen’s northern border, as well as  the King Khalid International Airport near Riyadh.

Yemen’s Army also possess short-range tactical missiles, including the domestically manufactured “al-Najim al-Thaqib,” which translates from Arabic as “The Piercing Star.” The Piercing Star 1 is 3 meters long and has a range of 45 km, holding a 50 kg payload. Its second iteration, The Piercing Star 2, is 5 meters long and has a range of 75 km with a 75 kg payload. Both versions have fixed stabilization grid fins and are launched from rails rather than tubes.  

Moreover, Yemen’s army has modified Soviet-era missiles — including the “Qaher 2,” which is a domestically modified Soviet SA-2 type missile that boasts a range of over 300 km, as well as the “Tochka” ballistic missile.

In addition to the manufacture and production of ballistic missiles, Yemen’s military recently revealed that it is producing a domestically-manufactured marine mine called the “Mersad.” The military says the mines will be deployed against Saudi coalition battleships and watercraft in the Red Sea surrounding Yemen.

Mersad" marine mines Yemen

Yemen frogmen stand beside new “Mersad” marine mines, October 13, 2018. Photo | Ansar Allah Media Center

Yemen’s army has also produced four domestically-manufactured drones — the Qasef-1 (Striker-1), the Hudhud-1 (Hoopoe-1), the Raqib (Observer), and the Rased (Surveyor) — all of which perform a variety of tasks, including aerial surveillance, battlefield observation, and geophysical surveying.

Despite the strict blockade imposed by Riyadh and supported by Washington, Saudi Arabia and its coalition allies blame Iran for providing Ansar Allah (Houthis) with their ballistic missile arsenal. The Houthis reject claims that Iran smuggles missiles into Yemen, countering that Yemen`s military develops and manufactures the missiles based on Russian and North Korean technology.

The unveiling of the new domestically-manufactured Badr P-1 ballistic smart missile comes within the frame of the right to self-defense, as thousands of Yemenis called for authorities in the capital, Sana’a, to advance the country’s missile programs in a bid to deter further Saudi aggression.

The unveiling of the new smart missile is also a blow to the Saudi coalition, which, despite having access to the latest arms and technology, has failed to conquer one of the poorest nations on earth, according to experts and military analysts.

Top Photo | This photo provided by the media bureau of Yemen’s Operations Command Center shows a Badr P-1 high-precision ballistic missile, October 29, 2018.

Ahmed AbdulKareem is a Yemeni journalist. He covers the war in Yemen for MintPress News as well as local Yemeni media.

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