The Houthis, formally known as Ansar Allah, announced on January 6 that their Air Defense Force had shot down a combat drone of the Saudi-led coalition.
In a statement, Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari a spokesman for the Houthis said the drone, a Turkish-made Karayel, was shot down with a ground-to-air missile while carrying out “hostilities” over the northern Yemeni province of al-Jawf.
“The targeting and the downing [of the drone] were documented by the military media,” the spokesman added.
Karayel was developed by Turkey’s Vestel to carry out surveillance, reconnaissance and combat mission. The drone has an endurance of up to 20 hours and an operating range of 150 km. The drone can be armed with guided munitions like the Turkish-made MAM-L and MAM-C.
Last year, Saudi Arabia signed a deal with Vestel to create a joint-venture that would produce 46 Karayel drones over the next 5 years for the Saudi forces.
The Houthis didn’t provide any details about the missile used to down the Karayel. The group operates some upgraded Soviet air-defense systems as well as air-to-air missiles which had been modified to be launched from ground.
Last month, the Houthis shot down a Chinese-made CH-4 combat drone of the Saudi-led coalition over Ma’rib. These incidents demonstrate the Yemeni group’s growing air-defense capabilities.
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