The Yemeni TV channel Al Masirah released a video showing the moment when the Houthis’ surface-to-air missile hit a F-15 warplane of the Saudi-led coalition over the Yemeni capital of Sanaa.
According to Al Masirah, the F-15 was downed on January 7 just few hours after the Houthis shot downed another Saudi-led coalition warplane Panavia Tornado multirole – over the area of Kitaf wa al-Boqe’e district in the province of Sa’ada.
The pro-Houthi media also released a video showing the Panavia Tornado’s wreckage.
Great news ! I wonder what AA missile system they used ? Anybody ?
s-75 divina by the explosion size real old tech ( 1960s)
Is the plane 15 or 35 I wonder?
15 you can see the double afterburners in the flir images. Also i dont think the saudis have f35s.
This one is F-15, the Panavia Tornado was the one shot down last week
Nice! Nice! So it is confirmed, finally. Using a thermal system from the US, how ironic! What about the pilot? Who’s he and what’s his nationality? I’m not inclined to believe Saudi or Emirati sources by publishing a name and no pics. Let’s hope Yemeni sources fix that!
Dear SF editor, there’s a typo in the article where F-15 turned into F-35. It would be very interesting if such a hyped plane were downed with a patched air defence system like that… Although if storks can do the job, I don’t see why Yemenis can’t.
Picture here with notes (complaints):
FLIR Ultra 8500 doesn’t seem like a device intended to be used to guide a missile. I wonder if it could be used to cue an optically guided missile. Alternatively the video is intended to hide the real targeting mechanism.
I think the latter, it’s used just for the video and is not really the engaged targeting/tracking system. I believe 1 camera is not enough for that task.
Thanks Garga… on reflection I agree with your assessment; the FLIR is just for filming purposes.
Stinger missiles and programs using the same technology (HgCdTe IR detectors) that are designed for different wavelength (color temperature) targets have only one detector; shoulder-launched IR-guided missiles designed for human targets, tanks, etc.
I may be wrong, but I know that Stinger uses more than one kind of sensor in it’s detecting system (IR and UV). That being said, in Stinger the sensors are IN the missile, not on the ground like the one in this video.
When I worked on these programs, only IR was used. You’re right, though, I wasn’t thinking – this sensor was on the ground!
THE MISSILE has mounted the camera and “sees” the target, the pilot can drop flares and anti-radar-aluminum, as much he wants, he can drop even his boots thru the window and the missile STILL HAS AN EYE ON HIS PLANE and doesn’t take it from the target, like a big-cat in the savanna.
Is it possibly for a sensor from the F15?
FLIR detects heat. It is passive – it doesn’t send out any signal or energy. Not sure if that is helpful to you
It means it could easily tail ram an F15 on afterburners I suppose.
“Ability to track either a target or scene enables hands-free system operation that maximizes mission effectiveness and reduces operator fatigue” http://www.flir.com/surveillance/display/?id=64176
If it can track, it’s acquiring data needed for guidance.
I am not convinced. As the FLIR web page indicates this is “configured for specific law enforcement missions.” So tracking a speeding car – yes. Hands free lock on and tracking of a person floating in water – yes. Acquiring and passing on data at a level sufficient for a missile intercept? I very much doubt it…it is simply not designed for that task….but i could be wrong or it could have been modified in some way.
:-)))))) Clever guy.. Oh, maybe the crew was taking some SELFIES, with that FLIR
I don’t understand your reply Siegfried but thanks for making an effort!
I suppose the ground-mounted FLIR is to show you how they could have possibly taken the video, but I doubt it’s actually related to the clip at all. The ground-mounted FLIR looks like something from a promotional video, not a Houthi home-brew air defense system. An F-15 may have been downed (or not) by the Houthis, but the IR image is wrong/unrelated. The image is far too stable and tracked too perfectly to have been done by just manually aiming a ground FLIR as the picture suggests. And despite that model FLIR’s zoom capability, that’s not the image of an F-15 at 12 or 14 thousand feet and five miles away from the camera. They’re not going to fly an F-15 (or anything else) below shoulder-fired SAM range in Yemen, so the FLIR would have to be looking very far away.
The camera angles and turn profile of the F-15 suggest (my guess) it’s unrelated footage from another aircraft (different time/place/circumstances) below/behind and a few miles away from the target F-15. And I would argue that this actually shows a larger SAM missing the F15. The SAM explodes somewhere between the camera and F-15, but nowhere near close enough to shred any chunks from the aircraft or engines – maybe thousands of feet from it. I agree with everyone about afterburners/flares. Those are not drop tanks coming from the F-15, which are always dropped in pairs, simultaneously, and usually not with the afterburners lit.
F-35 can be localized by S-400 /not to mention S-500/. And can be shot down even by an MiG-21, if the MiG shots a single 20mm projectile in the side of the F-35. The fuel-tanks are there practically without any shield. That said American Military experts , not me.
hhmmm, I see the aircraft speeding up, dropping flares and a hit by a missile but no crash.
Mmmmmmm, I agree, did the damage turn out to be terminal ? Is there any proof out there that this plane actually crashed ?
The Saudi’s admitted one of their planes crashed due to technical difficulties. Was it this aircraft or another ?? Why does the aircraft appear to be on fire before the missile hits ???
That’s just heat signature, I would say it’s due to high acceleration trying to dodge the missile, but I’m no expert.
That’s exactly what the video caption says on 00:33″: The pilot increases the speed of plane upon detection of the fired missile.
That’s the heat from afterburners.
yeah, the pilot is accelerating when he hears the missile launch warning and those aren’t flares they’re actually fuel tanks being dropped, it’s regular protocal in this situation
there are big pieces coming off the plane from the explosion. Even if the plane does not crash into pieces, it’s doubtful the pilot can bring it home
I’m not sure the pieces were from the plane, it looked more like they came from the missile. You can’t tell the distance from the camera to the missile and the plane. The missile looks like it is close, but we have no true depth perception. I think if it had been a successful kill, the video would have followed the plane to the ground.
“I think if it had been a successful kill, the video would have followed the plane to the ground”
This is something I always consider and it’s been true in most cases from Syria. Nonetheless Saudia announced the loss of a F-15 so it’s possible. The fact that a Tornado was shot down earlier reinforces this thesis.
“Nonetheless Saudia announced the loss of a F-15 so it’s possible.” They announced the Tornado loss but i haven’t seen any Saudi confirmation of the F-15. The F-15 can survive quite a bit of damage.
Wikipedia entry for F-15 Losses for SA:
“8 January 2018: F-15S, RSAF, was shot down by a Yemeni Houthi militants. A separate statement from the group’s Saba News Agency says their forces shot down the aircraft with an unspecified surface-to-air missile. The F-15S fighter appears to increase speed and releases decoy flares before a projectile hits it, appearing to cause significant damage. The fate of the pilots is unknown”
Saudia did not deny the loss, which is customary, when it is known for sure the plane wasn’t hit (ie: it came back home).
The video in particular shows remains of a fuel tank, but: it has the pilon attached, and there is a sidewinder missile near it too. This makes think of objects taken from, or near the wreckage while the rest is burning.
Saudia did not deny the loss, which is customary, when it is known for sure the plane wasn’t hit (ie: it came back home).
The video in particular shows remains of a fuel tank but, it has the pylon near it (means that it has not been ejected in flight), and there is a sidewinder missile near it too. This makes think of objects taken from, or near the wreckage while the rest is burning.
all in all the probability of the F-15 loss is very high.
flares hmm ? those are fuel tanks i believe
This article at the top says ‘F-35’ this should be corrected to F-15 or whichever aircraft it actually was.
There are 2 engines.
Houthis military forces are slowly learning. Recently Houthis have launch air defense operation against Saudi led collation air forces. They need foreign support from Russia, Iran, Pakistan military, politically, and in humanitarian aid. Believe me Saudis are so cruel that they have killed 10,000 humans just for one person his name is Abdur Rabu Mansor Hadi an idiot, illiterate mad and traitor.
And that idiot rabuh should have the same fate as of Saleh the traitor..!
You are absolutely right. Rabu Mansor Hadi should have to be sent to Saleh too.
They dropped 2 fuel tanks and it still didn’t save it from the missile, which contacted nicely.
Looks it dropped flares to try to disingage incoming heat seeking missile but did it too late and there wasn’t any attemp for avoiding manuver to avaide missile inteseption line.
Those are fuel tanks flares he let out at the last minute this could have been Brit pilots that fly for Saudi Arabia with under British law in the F-15.
I think it’s just flares. But video end without showing it disintegrate so maybe it’s not critically damaged.
It doesn’t look as though the aircraft trajectory changed after the ‘hit’…looks like a near miss to me. Although the missile shows to have destructed, the F-15 does not. There was some underwear in dire need of changing after this encounter though and I imagine there are requests for higher pay now.
Yeah the missile clearly detonated although a little bit too late for effective area of effect. If it’s in color we may have seen the jet trailing Dark smoke. That’s really pure luck if we consider how it only trying to speed away in a straight line deploying flares sloppily like that. That tactics only reserved for foxbat foxhound.
Yeah, clearly the pilot panicked…or was poorly trained.
Even if was close proximity explosion – the missile shrapnel can still damage the aircraft – damage hydraulic and electrical lines etc. May not have brought the aircraft down but airframe will surely be off-line for some time for inspection, and repairs if was punctured by shards of shrapnel. Bear in mind, KSA are critically short of own trained aero-engineers and aircraft service crews, and basically out source most of this work to seconded North American or British personnel.
Let’s hope the damn terrorist pilot died on the crash.
I can confirm that there are British pilots flying for Saudi. Don’t have the numbers but they range into the several dozen. I’m interested in an accurate ID of that plane. But the British pilots would have taken some evasive manoeuvre. There was no attempt to negate or out manoeuvre the trajectory of that missile at all. Must be a ‘newbe’ Saudi pilot just trained out of Tabuk in Saudi.
Would also like an accurate ID also of the pilots as the UK is not the only country playing flag of convenience anymore.
you mean those combos that include fuel tank and a decoy launcher at the back?
Do such things even exist?
Yep looks like it failed in achieving its goal.
Why would dropped tanks burn?
They have decoy launchers meant to distract the missile.
I think that 2 flares are the pilot injecting.. I might be wrong doh..
Haha too bad flares don’t do anything against radar guided SAMs.
how you know it was radar guided? I doubt the houthis have the technical means to employ them. In any case, chaff and flares should be dropped together, is just that chaff probably hasn’t much ir signature
Yes we don’t know what kind of missile,but obviously it wasn’t IR homing like a manpad, and semi active radar homing has been around since the 60’s. They could use a visual targeting system for the launch. The FLIR Gizmo could probably be modded to guide the missile close enough for the missile radar guidance system to lock onto the target. Or it could be done with a simple joystick.
Semi active radar doesn’t work like that.
It needs a radar transceiver to guide the missile to the target, missile-side you only have a receiver that picks up the radar signal coming from the launching platform, recognizes it as its own launcher and generates guidance commands for the onboard autopilot.
I stand corrected.
The plane started burning before the missile hit, how’s that possible? Anyone?
It was shooting flares to try to distract the missile (if it is heat-seeking it might follow the flares and not the engine exhaust)..But apparently it did not work..
I’m not talking about the flares, if you look closely you’ll notice the plane itself started burning even before the pilot started releasing flares. The only other time I’ve seen something like this was through the use of laser weapons.
the pilot is accelerating it’s the afterburner and those aren’t flares, he’s dropping the fuel tanks before impact…
This seems like a logical explanation
he should’ve kept those fuel tanks !
IMO, keeping the external fuel tanks would slow down the fighter, but it didn’t matter.
I think Manofjustice was engaging in a little sarcasm, had the missile hit either of the fuel tanks then it would have been F15 flambe.
They are glowing hot in the FLIR. Why would a fuel tank give off that much heat?
Hmm…I see what you mean. I will make a-very uneducated-guess that the pilot got warning of incoming missile and went to afterburner mode to try to gain speed/distance. Given that we are seeing this via a thermal camera, the effects of the afterburner would be visibly greatly enhanced, hence the..well, burning.
Afterburners,viewed by a thermal camera(FLIR) the pilot knew they had a lock on him. We used to lock on to Russian aircraft back in Vietnam, you should see them move when they engage the afterburners.
russian aircraft in vietnam?
Yeah, they used to do spy missions, checking out the warships off the coast, in international waters.
Maybe the pilot went full throttle in order to get away for the missile, thus generating more heat, it is filmed with a heatcam after all.
Would an increase in throttle produce that significant a difference in heat signature? While it’s possible it somehow doesn’t sound right.
Yes. Afterburner deactivated around :30 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy8VyLI6RbM
Fantastic example PW IV
is the effect of the afterburner engaging. The pilot has probably detected the missile either visually or via RWR/MAWS and started an evasion maneuver
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0pKX8XiYiU The Face Of Suffering: Famine, Cholera Wreak Havoc In War-Torn Yemen | NBC News
Yemen: Breaking News. May 3, 2017 According to UN
1. The Largest Humanitarian Disaster. 2. 7 Million People Hungary. 3. Economy Collapsed During War. 4. More than 10,000 people killed. 5. More than 50,000 people wounded.
All world leaders should have to support Yemen politically and militarily and end this human rights violations at least for the small kids that have no food, medicines and shelters. Please call UNSC emergency meeting on this Humanitarian disaster.
This is why I won’t shed tears for the pilot. The Saudis can replace planes but losing pilots will demoralize their corp.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/af/Abdulmalik_Alhouthi_by_Mbazri.jpg/220px-Abdulmalik_Alhouthi_by_Mbazri.jpg Yemen president: Sayyid Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi
Abdur Rabu Mansur Hadi <– took power from Abdullah Saleh but Hadi was too weak to rule the Yemen therefore, the corruption was too high. Houthis start complaining and when Hadi fail to rule then Houthis took power in their own hands. So this was Yemen internal affair. Therefore, Saudi Arabia should not interfere in Yemen affair.
In Yemen war US provides weapons and intelligence support to Saudi-led coalition forces, which reportedly include assistance in military targets in Yemen. It indicates that Trump indirectly attacks Yemen through Saudi led collation because Trump shows targets to Saudi led collation in Yemen. That is why Saudi led collation air forces targeting funerals, Mosques, schools, hospitals, markets etc.
All world leaders should have to support Yemen politically and militarily and end this human rights violations at least for the small kids that have no food, medicines and shelters.
The Saudis want Yemen’s oil reserves, and the US wants oil sales in US dollars. All wars are about money, human life is cheap to those who rule.
Hehe I think they have some smart and talented people in Yemen, and the use of FLIR, nice one.
Yeah, I agree, the pilot hit the pedal to the metal, dropped the ad-tanks and got hit right after, even tho the Plain accelerated the missile took out the plain, hats off. This, will of course, make the Bentley’s much harder to earn, dont it, the rats flying for the Saudi-barbarians must from now on calculate with been shoot down, and mercs dont like that, equalizing the field, and show us the pilot, that would be interesting to know.
Many moons ago, I was working in Dhahran for the oil company. The then king – Khalid – came to see an airshow at the airport.
The aircraft performed wonderfully with British mercenary pilots. The planes landed and taxied into their hangars. Saudi “pilots” appeared a short while later and the king gave out medals. It was told to me by a ground technician.
Yep, SOP. Saw the same thing in Taif.
What are “ad-tanks”? I have never heard of them
It is obvious that the Ansarollah have upgraded their Soviet era SAMS with flirs and newer radars. The Saudi criminals and their puppet mercenaries have lost over 40 aircraft, helicopters and drones now. The days of indiscriminate bombing are coming to an end.
Superb! The more the merrier! If they can seriously dent the ability and confidence of the KSA air force and then their military they can defeat the KSA and bring this dreadful war to a close. This will end ABS’s military adventurism and seriously damage his reputation at home and that of the Saudi Monarchy probably resulting in a revolution in the KSA ending the Kingdom for good?
Bravo for the brave Houthi fighters in shooting down this criminal Saudi regime aircraft!
Why did they end the video when they did?
what i see is that the aircraft goes to afterburner ,obviously after it has warning of incoming missile. what confuses me is tat it doesnt alter course, it fires 2 flares but still the missile blasts near it…..anyway lucky guy.
Lucky? The missiles hits precisely where it does the more damage, in fact there are large pieces of airplane blasted away. This pilot did not get home, he’s lucky if he got rescued.
not exactly….its a heat seaking missile so it goes were the most heat is…..the pilot has afterburner so the missile is very happy because he gets a huge heat signal to focus. both decoys are wasted since their heat is minor to the afterburners/…..the pilot reacts wrong…..so he is lucky he didnt became a fireball.
I wondered about that, I get why the pilot ejected the fuel tanks but I don’t know why he didn’t fire flares instead of fire the afterburners. He must have been taken by surprise and made the wrong decision, only had a couple of seconds to think about it.
he didnt eject the fuel tanks….he released 2 flares. fuel tnks are much bigger and dont look at all like that……2 flares…..in these cases your training gives results…obviously he wasnt that good
Makes sense, fuel tanks wouldn’t have a ‘flash’ when released, the whole point is for them not to flash.
exactly…….even if he did that…..even if the tanks were full releasing them wouldn’t help much……
“its a heat seaking missile so it goes were the most heat is”
Depends on the missile. Older first gen would do just this. More modern missiles have software algorhytms that will put them in the most damaging position.
For example, the missile “sees” the engines plumes, and perhaps other parts of the plane. Its onboard computer has also to constantly calculate the angular velocity of the tracked object.
With this data available, the missile will be directed to “lead” the target so to be in a certain position (for ex, under the fuselage behind the wings) so that the spool can trigger the explosion at the moment in which the most fragments can hit the target.
IR missiles especially, are light and have space for only small warheads with a reduced number of fragments, in this they have to compensate with methods to exploit those carachteristics to the fullest, in order to increase the pK.
“the pilot reacts wrong”
I wouldn’t say that. The pilot has reacted when he became aware of the missile, certainly too late. His choice to engage afterburner is consistent with the need to quickly change speed and not lose kinetic energy. The rationale is that an IR missile will track the plane nonetheless, so it’s better to engage AB and get more options kinematically.
correct ….about the aa rockets indeed. ….but for the reaction….maybe he didnt try to evade because he didnt want to waste speed ,or kinetic energy as you very correctly mentioned, as a result of the manoeuvre …..
in the end, we can only speculate what goes on in the mind of a pilot in that kind of situation. Training and especially experience could probably make the pilot able to reason more efficiently, and then take more correct decisions.
It is of relevance though, that most of these things are considered “a posteriori” – after things have happened. At that stage, is easy to say :”the correct thing to do was to..”. Training should be focused on giving pilots the most generic courses of actions, on the basis of technology and combat situation.
The pilot must be able to calculate the optimal solution for the problem he is in, on the basis of those generic courses of action.
pilots spend many hours on flight simulators…thats the best training since they can encounter scenarios like AA missiles chasing you that you cannot practise by real flying…..in fact this is basic for pilots in the simulation room…..in actual flying they can practice dogfights ,ground attacks etc….and again you are right…..we can only speculate…..did he have a split of a second warning?did he just wait (nerves of steel) for the missile to aproach and the try to avoid it by releasing flares and altering speed?
Time to buy f-35’s. hahahahah
Bring down more of Sauron’s Nazgul!
The plain Jane version sells for 40 K……oop’s
AMN has concluded that the missile missed: “However, video footage of the attack was released on Tuesday, showing that the missile did not in fact hit the warplane” https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/houthi-forces-shoot-saudi-warplane-yemen-video/