AVN 65.31 Decreased By ▼ -0.86 (-1.3%)
BAFL 30.25 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
BOP 4.63 Decreased By ▼ -0.10 (-2.11%)
CNERGY 3.89 Decreased By ▼ -0.12 (-2.99%)
DFML 13.50 Decreased By ▼ -0.60 (-4.26%)
DGKC 42.15 Decreased By ▼ -1.54 (-3.52%)
EPCL 46.13 Increased By ▲ 1.48 (3.31%)
FCCL 11.45 Decreased By ▼ -0.38 (-3.21%)
FFL 5.19 Increased By ▲ 0.22 (4.43%)
FLYNG 5.82 Decreased By ▼ -0.28 (-4.59%)
GGL 10.04 Decreased By ▼ -0.34 (-3.28%)
HUBC 63.21 Increased By ▲ 0.91 (1.46%)
HUMNL 5.73 Decreased By ▼ -0.12 (-2.05%)
KAPCO 27.81 Increased By ▲ 0.26 (0.94%)
KEL 2.15 Decreased By ▼ -0.06 (-2.71%)
LOTCHEM 25.37 Decreased By ▼ -1.23 (-4.62%)
MLCF 21.65 Decreased By ▼ -0.87 (-3.86%)
NETSOL 84.95 Decreased By ▼ -1.25 (-1.45%)
OGDC 86.64 Increased By ▲ 0.37 (0.43%)
PAEL 10.96 Decreased By ▼ -0.31 (-2.75%)
PIBTL 4.21 Decreased By ▼ -0.07 (-1.64%)
PPL 78.65 Decreased By ▼ -1.43 (-1.79%)
PRL 13.61 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.37%)
SILK 0.88 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-2.22%)
SNGP 41.00 Decreased By ▼ -0.75 (-1.8%)
TELE 6.01 Decreased By ▼ -0.20 (-3.22%)
TPLP 16.02 Decreased By ▼ -0.25 (-1.54%)
TRG 111.89 Decreased By ▼ -0.66 (-0.59%)
UNITY 14.01 Decreased By ▼ -0.34 (-2.37%)
WTL 1.14 Decreased By ▼ -0.06 (-5%)
BR100 4,026 Decreased By -48.6 (-1.19%)
BR30 14,402 Decreased By -123 (-0.85%)
KSE100 40,451 Decreased By -396 (-0.97%)
KSE30 15,110 Decreased By -101.7 (-0.67%)
Follow us

DUBAI: Domestically assembled drones that can fly hundreds of miles (kilometres) are proving a security headache for the United Arab Emirates after consecutive attacks by Yemen's rebel warriors.

The low-tech weapons, which use over-the-counter parts, were deployed in two attacks on the wealthy Gulf state, a member of the Saudi-led coalition, the Iran-backed rebels said.

Three Asian oil workers died in a drone-and-missile assault on Abu Dhabi on January 17 and on Monday, US forces based in the city fired Patriot interceptors to help shoot down two ballistic missiles.

Drones were also used in the attack, the rebels said.

The attacks, in response to a series of rebel defeats by a UAE-trained militia, pit the Houthis' home-grown weaponry against the Emirates' billion-dollar missile defence capabilities.

The Sammad-3 drones -- named after the insurgents' former second-in-command Saleh al-Sammad, who was killed in a coalition air raid in 2018 -- have a range of about 1,500 kilometres (930 miles), rebels and analysts say.

Yemen rebels lose key district after missile attack on UAE

They have frequently targeted Saudi Arabia, which neighbours Yemen, killing and injuring civilians, and damaging infrastructure, including oil facilities and airports.

"The Emiratis and Saudis are finding it difficult to fend off these attacks," said James Rogers, an associate fellow at the London School of Economics.

"It is notoriously difficult to counter-drone and missile attacks, especially when used in a 'swarm tactic' where multiple weapons are sent at once to overwhelm existing defences."

Experts stress the cost-effectiveness of a strategy also adopted by the Hamas movement in Gaza against Israel as well as Shiite militants targeting US forces in Iraq.

Drones have long been used by conventional forces, including the Americans in the assassination of senior Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad airport in 2020.

Missile defence

Rogers said the Houthis have been using attack drones and medium-range missiles "at low altitude and low speed so they are hard for conventional radar to detect".

Saudi Arabia and the United States have repeatedly accused Iran of supplying the Houthis with drones, missiles and other weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

The Shiite Houthi rebels say they manufacture the drones domestically, although analysts say they contain smuggled Iranian components.

"Many of the drones were locally made reproductions of state-designed military systems similar to those made by Iran," said Rogers, who has inspected captured Houthi drones.

Yemenis struggle without internet for third day after air strikes

"They were augmented with easily available commercial drone motors, wiring, control systems, and cameras. This ensures the Houthis can secure these cost-effective fighting methods, increasingly with less support from state military supplies."

The Samad-3, the Houthis' most advanced drone, can be fitted with 18 kilogrammes (40 pounds) of explosives, according to rebel media sources and analysts.

The Houthis drones use GPS guidance and "fly autonomously along pre-programmed waypoints" towards their targets, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) experts wrote in a 2020 report.

The UAE signed a multi-billion dollar deal for the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile protection system, built by US firm Lockheed Martin, in 2011.

It also inked a $3.5-billion missile defense contract with a South Korean firm last week.

Saudi Arabia possesses 80 standalone air defense radars, but many of these are older systems dating back several decades.

The extension of the Houthis' air offensive to the UAE came after heavy losses on the ground in Shabwa province in the face of an offensive by Emirati-trained Giants Brigade fighters.


Comments are closed.

Cheap and nasty: Yemen's home-grown drones pose challenge for UAE

SBP rebuts claim capping dollar price caused $3bn loss in remittances, exports

At least 41 killed as passenger coach falls into ravine in Lasbela

6.3 magnitude earthquake jolts Islamabad, surrounding areas

Ten children killed in northwest Pakistan boat capsize

Pakistan expresses interest in possibility of currency swap with Russia

China’s 2022 smartphone shipments the lowest in 10 years

Blinken heads to Middle East as violence erupts

Djokovic wins Australian Open to equal Nadal’s 22 Slam titles

Suddenly, ailing SOEs come under PDM govt’s focus

50pc duty imposed on import of ‘Mild Hybrid Vehicles’