Yemeni army soldiers backed by fighters from popular committees have shot down a Saudi spy drone in the country’s northwestern province of Saada.
A Yemeni military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language Khabar news agency that the Yemeni forces targeted the remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle on Friday as it was flying over Kataf district in the arid and mountainous province, which lies 240 kilometers (150 miles) north of the capital, Sanaa.
The small drone was later identified as a long-endurance Boeing Insitu ScanEagle.
ScanEagle carries a stabilized electro-optical and/or infrared camera on a lightweight inertial stabilized turret system, and an integrated communications system having a range of over 62 miles (100 km); it has a flight endurance of over 20 hours.
ScanEagle needs no airfield for deployment. Instead, it is launched using a pneumatic launcher, patented by Insitu, known as the “SuperWedge” launcher.
It is not the first time that the army and the popular committees down a hostile spy drone in Yemen.
On July 6, a Saudi unmanned aerial vehicle was downed while conducting a surveillance mission in Yemen’s northwestern province of Saada.
The development came less than a day after Yemeni forces had targeted another Saudi surveillance drone in the southeastern province of Dhamar.
In early May, Ansarullah revolutionary fighters took possession of a Saudi surveillance drone, which had parachute-landed in Saada due to a technical glitch.
Yemen has been since March 26 under brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition. Thousands have been martyred and injured in the attack, with the vast majority of them are civilians.
Riyadh launched the attack on Yemen in a bid to restore power to fugitive president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi who is a close ally to Saudi Arabia.
However, Yemeni army, backed by popular committees and tribal fighter has been responding to the aggression by targeting several Saudi border military posts and cleansing several areas across the country, especially the country’s south, from Hadi and al-Qaeda-linked militias.