Evolution of UAVs Employed by Houthi Forces in Yemen

February 19, 2020

Weapon Program: 

  • Missile
  • Military

Publication: 

Conflict Armament Research

Related Country: 

  • Yemen

This dispatch tracks the evolution of Houthi unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which have become increasingly lethal and powerful. CAR finds that the Yemeni group is able to domestically manufacture some components while procuring more sophisticated electronic items from foreign supply networks.

Key Findings

  • Owing to the introduction of explosive payloads and more powerful engines, Houthi forces have deployed increasingly potent and lethal UAVs since 2016.
  • A significant number of Houthi UAV components documented by CAR are identical or similar to IED components that CAR documented in Yemen, following their recovery from Houthi forces, and in Bahrain, following recovery from militant factions. These specific components were also present on the Jihan 1 merchant vessel. In most cases, the components either originated in Iran, or match those used by factions in the region that are linked to Iran.
  • While Houthi forces seem to procure most UAVs from external sources, they appear to have begun manufacturing some parts of at least one type of UAV domestically in 2018.

Read the full report at Conflict Armament Research.