The MQ-9 unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) shot down on August 20 over southwestern Yemen by the Houthis was being operated by the U.S. military, the Reuters news agency reported on August 21, citing U.S. officials.
The U.S. officials confirmed that the UCAV was shot down with a surface-to-air missile launched by the ‘Iranian-backed’ Houthis.
“While losing a drone was expensive, it was not unprecedented and it was unlikely to lead to any major response by the United States,” Reuters quoted one of the officials as saying.
The MQ-9 “Reaper,” presented by General Atomics in 2007, has a rage of more than 1,800km and an endurance of up to 14 hours. The UCAV can carry more than 1,000kg of precision-guided weapons.
Last June, a UCAV of the same type was shot down by the Houthis over the western Yemeni coast with a surface-to-air missile.
The Houthis claim they shot down the drone with a new domestically-made anti-aircraft missile, which will be unveiled soon.