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Flight Performance Analysis of the Samad Attack Drones Operated by Houthi Armed Forces

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Flight Performance Analysis of the Samad Attack Drones Operated by Houthi Armed Forces

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Samenvatting

In recent years, there has been a large increase in the use of
uncrewed attack aircraft, or attack drones, in the Yemen conflict.
At the same time, the flight endurance and payload capabilities
of these uncrewed aerial vehicles seem to have increased significantly.
This article presents a flight performance analysis of the
Samad aircraft family operated by Ansar Allah, the Houthi rebel
movement. The analysis is based on information available in the
public domain and accounts for modeling uncertainties, and terrain
under weather conditions typical for Yemen and Saudi
Arabia. With only limited data available in the form of images,
the analysis method assesses the flight performance of fixedwing
attack aircraft with high aspect ratio wings and powered
by piston engines and propellers. Results demonstrate that it is
highly unlikely that the Samad-2 version could reach strategic
locations in Saudi Arabia when launched from Houthi-controlled
territory. The analysis shows that Samad-3, however, can achieve
a flight range in excess of 1800 km, bringing Riyadh and oil
installations near the Persian Gulf into reach. The results of the
study can be used to predict the locations from which the
Samad UAV can be deployed in an attack. Furthermore, it gives
insight into the increasing threat of this type of UAV when
employed by non-state actors. The methods and tools developed
in this study can be used to analyze the capabilities of
other UAV with similar configurations.

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OrganisatieNederlandse Defensie Academie
AfdelingFaculteit Militaire Wetenschappen
LectoraatMilitair Technische Wetenschappen
Gepubliceerd inScience & Global Security : The Technical Basis for Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation Initiatives Taylor and Francis Online
Datum2020-12-10
TypeArtikel
TaalEngels

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