On November 13, the Houthis shot down another US-made Boeing Insitu ScanEagle drone over the central Yemeni province of Ma’rib.
In a statement, Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari, a spokesman for the Yemeni group, said that the drone was shot down with a “suitable weapon” over the district of al-Jubah.
This was the second ScanEagle drone to be shot down by the Houthis’ air defenses over Ma’rib in less than a week, and the sixth this year.
- On June 20, the first drone was shot down over Sirwah district;
- On June 21, the second drone was shot down over Sirwah district;
- On August 14, the third drone was shot down over Medghal district;
- On September 27, the fourth drone was shot down over Medghal district;
- On November 9, the fifth drone was shot down over al-Jubah district;
The drone was most likely of the ScanEagle 2 variant that entered service with the US military in 2014. This copy has a top speed of 148 km and an endurance of more than 16 hours. The ScanEagle 2 is mainly used for reconnaissance missions. It is equipped with a day and night capable sensor, a fully digital video system and an advanced navigation system.
The US may have been using ScanEagle drones to spy on the Houthis’ ongoing offensive against the Saudi-led coalition. Another possibility is that these drones were delivered to Saudi Arabia earlier this year as a part of an unannounced contract.
It’s worth noting that the Biden administration claimed that it ended “offensive” support for the coalition earlier this year.