Losses and Aviation Safety

Video shows Houthis SAM scoring a hit on RSAF F-15S

The F-15S was badly damaged but managed to return home safely

Taken on Mar. 21, 2018, the video in this post shows one of R-27T air to air missiles deployed by the Houthis as a surface-to-air missile (SAM) scoring a hit on a Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) F-15S. The Strike Eagle was badly damaged but managed to return home safely.

The news has been confirmed by Saudi Press Agency that quoted Col. Staff Turki Al-Turki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, as saying that one of the coalition’s warplane came under attack over Saada airport on Mar. 21.

Al-Turki added that the missile “used was not part of the Yemeni air defense capabilities as they have been destroyed by the coalition, but evidence that the Iranian regime is continuing to smuggle “qualitative field capabilities” to the Houthis in a flagrant challenge to the world community resolutions, including UN Resolution No. 2216.”

He said that the possession of new air defense missiles at the hands of the terror organizations is considered a serious development and a direct threat to air navigation and relief and humanitarian travel.

Starting Mar. 26, 2015 Saudi F-15S aircraft along with other Arab coalition assets started striking targets in Yemen as part of the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, called Operation Decisive Storm. Opposing a joint force composed of former Houthi rebels and Yemeni Army forces, the strikes, at least in the opening days were met by ineffective anti-aircraft fire that reportedly only caused damage when falling to the ground. During the opening strikes on Mar. 26, 2015, a Saudi F-15S crashed into the Gulf of Aden after circling around over the sea; its two pilots ejected safely and were recovered by a USAF HH-60G rescue helicopter. Arab coalition reports stated enemy fire did not cause the crash, while Houthi and Iranian sources stated they shot down the F-15. On Jan. 8, 2018, it was reported that a RSAF F-15S was shot down by a Houthi SAM. A Houthi released video shows the F-15 increasing speed and releasing flares before being struck by the missile and apparently suffering major damage. On Jan. 9, 2018 the Houthi media, Al-Masirah, announced that the F-15 had been damaged but did not crash.

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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