On October 7, the Houthis (Ansar Allah) announced that they had shot down a US-made AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma drone over the border with Saudi Arabia’s Jizan province.
Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari, a spokesman for the Yemeni group, said that the drone was shot down with a “suitable weapon” without elaborating.
The RQ-20 Puma is a hand-launched drone that was designed for surveillance and intelligence missions. The basic version of the drone has an endurance of two hours and a range of 15 km. A single unit costs around $250,000.
The drone is not known to be in service with the Saudi military. Nevertheless, last year a drone of the same type with the insignia of the Royal Saudi Air Force was shot down by the Houthis, also over the border with Jizan.
This was the second drone to be shot down by the Houthis this week. On October 6, the Yemeni group downed a Chinese-made CASC Rainbow CH-4 combat drone of the Saudi-led coalition over the central Yemeni province of Ma’rib with an unidentified ground-to-air missile.
In the last few years the Houthis improved their air-defense capabilities, reportedly with help from Iran. Today, the Saudi-led coalition and US drones can’t operate over Yemen with complete freedom as they used to do.
- Saudi-led Coalition Says It Destroyed Houthi Drone Launch Site After Attack On Saudi Arabia’s Abha Airport
- Houthis Shot Down Saudi-led Coalition CH-4 Combat Drone Over Ma’rib