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In Just Few Years, Houthi Possesses Impressive Array of Anti-Ship Missiles

In the span of just a few years, the armed group Houthi in Yemen, officially known as "Ansar Allah," has acquired a diverse array of anti-ship weaponry, including anti-ship cruise missiles and anti-ship ballistic missile.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — In the span of just a few years, the armed group Houthi in Yemen, officially known as “Ansar Allah,” has acquired a diverse array of anti-ship weaponry, including anti-ship cruise missiles and anti-ship ballistic missile.

Regional observers assert that almost all of these missiles in possession of the Houthi group were supplied by Iran.

Upon capturing the northern regions of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, in late 2014 and early 2015, the group obtained older anti-ship missiles of Soviet origin, namely the P-21 and P-22 (RS-SSC-3 Styx).

Additionally, they were equipped with more modern anti-ship missiles from China, such as the C-801, acquired from Yemen’s military stock, and the Rubezh B21/B22.

In military parades in 2022 and 2023, the Houthi armed group showcased various anti-ship missiles, including the “Quds” and “Sayyad,” believed to have been supplied by Iran.

Houthi
A Houthi anti-ship missile

 

Both “Quds” and “Sayyad” are reported to have a range of up to 800km.

Furthermore, the military parades featured anti-ship ballistic missiles employing infrared and imaging infrared seeker technology.

Among those publicly displayed by the Houthi is the “Asef,” with a range of 450km, repurposed from Iran’s “Fateh 313” guided missile.

Simultaneously, they exhibited the “Tankil,” also repurposed from the anti-ship missile “Zohayr” of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, with a range of 500km.

 Both missiles, “Asef” and “Tankil,” repurposed from Iranian missiles, are noted for their powerful payloads of 300kg each.

The Houthi group also possesses smaller anti-ship ballistic missiles like “Faleq,” “Mayun,” and “Bahr al-Ahmar,” with a range of 140km, based on Iranian technology.

Mastering the technology of anti-ship ballisti missiles is complex, and Iranian military officials acknowledge the challenges involved in developing such capabilities.

Houthi

Houthi

In recent weeks, the Houthi armed group has launched both anti-ship missiles and anti-ship ballistic missile at merchant vessels purportedly heading towards ports in Israel.

Despite targeting merchant ships and U.S. and allied warships in the Red Sea, the Houthi group faces challenges due to a lack of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets, such as maritime patrol aircraft and satellites, crucial for providing targeting information for the missiles.

However, the diversity of anti-ship guided missile systems owned by the Houthi group raises questions about Iran’s strategy in the region.

It underscores Iran’s long-term focus on strengthening the Houthi group’s anti-ship capabilities and Tehran’s efforts to export its maritime strategy from the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz to the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. — DSA

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