Monday, October 02, 2017

Houthis shoot down a MQ-9 Reaper?

Thanks to John for the link!

via Military
A U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone was shot down in western Yemen on Sunday, officials at U.S. Central Command confirmed to Military Times.

Multiple outlets reported on Sunday that Houthi rebels had claimed they shot down a drone. Images of the wreckage were posted by the rebel faction’s news agency SABA.

Houthi air defense systems brought down the drone in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, SABA claimed.

“We assess that an MQ-9 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle was shot down in western Yemen on Oct. 1, 2017. This incident is under investigation,” said Maj. Earl Brown, a spokesperson for U.S. Central Command.

The MQ-9 is predominately an armed hunter-killer drone but the unmanned aircraft is also capable of surveillance and intelligence collection.
Story here. 

This is a stunning development.  Remember the black hawk that crashed off the coast of Yemen?  Everyone bought the line that it was mechanical damage.  Now we see this.

The obvious question.

How were the Houthis able to track, engage and bring down a high flying MQ-9?

That indicates a level of sophistication that I didn't think they had.  It's obvious that they not only have fighting spirit but they're also acquiring sophisticated weaponry.

This is the main issue with prolonged operations against any foe.  You give them time to adapt, to improve and finally to become a threat.  Originally this applied only to nation state vs nation state warfare.  Now?  Now we're seeing insurgent groups gain the capability of fighting nation state armies to a standstill and I predict we'll soon see them able to defeat those nations in the field (and that's ignoring what ISIS did to the Iraq Army).

The fight just got much more complicated in Yemen.  Air centric operations are now endangered.  Fast movers might still be able to operate freely but helicopter assaults that are a favorite of SOCOM are now MUCH more difficult.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.