With two Israeli planes downed this week, fresh Saudi markings painted on them, and a strong confirmation of a tactical thermonuclear attack on a Yemeni airbase, a neutron bomb attack (NRR No Residual Radiation), the Yemen war is now clearly an Israeli war.
According to Yemeni media outlets, on Sunday Saudi fighter jets targeted a factory in the western Yemeni province of Al-Hudaydah, killing three civilians and injuring 19 others. The Saudi fighter jets also targeted residential areas, a military airbase and a police headquarters in the province in separate attacks.
The pilots of these two downed aircraft have not been found; no doubt extensive searches are being carried out – an Israeli pilot captured alive would be quite a coup for the Yemenis.
The aircraft was shot down by an updated BUK system supplied by Russia – Yemen is well-equipped with modern Russian weaponry including MiG-29s and advanced air-defence systems, a fact that has clearly been overlooked by the Saudis and their Israeli allies; they have grossly underestimated the capabilities of their enemy and as we have seen before, most notably in southern Lebanon against Hezbollah – Israel does not do so well when it’s victims are prepared and capable of fighting back; perhaps they thought they were bombing undefended civilians in Gaza?
Resident VT aviation expert Jeff Smith of Los Alamos National Labs has provided us with an analysis of this situation.
So this is probably one of the 50 surplus US F-16 A models given to Israel during the Clinton administration or it is a recently surplus ex-NATO aircraft either from Italy or Portugal. The only other option is that they were directly supplied from the US covertly. We need a serial no. or tail number to confirm which production block they came from.
I forgot it was carrying the 300 gal center line long range bolt on conformal drop tank with no air to air refueling capability or ECM equipment. This is why it was shot down. Too slow and no countermeasures. It was also using the older APG-66 radar. Riyadh or UAE to Yemen is only 600 miles.
However Israel to Yemen is 1200 miles. An F-16 with 3 drop tanks, 4x 1000 lb bombs and 2 sidewinder missiles for self defense is do-able from Israel. The very same distance and mission configuration as needed to hit Iran.
From Press TV:
Yemeni army has shot down a Saudi warplane northeast of the northern city of Sa’ada, as Al Saud regime continues its aerial attacks against its southern neighbor unabated.According to Yemen’s al-Masirah television, the Saudi plane was downed in Kataf district of the province.
Earlier in the day, another Saudi F-16 fighter jet was downed in the Bayt Khayran area of the district of Bani Harith in the north of the northwestern province of Sana’a. The fighter jet had reportedly conducted a number of airstrikes against Yemen’s al-Dailami air base.
Saudi jets have been carrying out military strikes against Yemen since March 26. On May 11, Ansarullah fighters brought down a Moroccan fighter jet violating the country’s airspace in the Noshour Valley in the northern province of Sa’ada.
A few hours later, the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen (2015–present) began. The Yemeni Air Force did not completely join the Houthi rebels, as most of the personnel refused to take orders from their former enemy. Also the maintenance of the air-frames was mostly halted since the ousting of the Saleh regime in 2012 and thus, at the beginning of 2015, the situation of the Air Force seemed chaotic with most of the personnel deserted and air-frames lacking maintenance, effectively preventing the Yemeni Air Force to enter in the fight, remaining grounded during the Saudi-led intervention.
During the opening strikes in March 2015, it appeared that the Coalition strikes did not hit the main combat assets of the Yemeni Air Force, with limited attacks on the runways, secondary airport structures and logistics air-frames, even in face of fighter jets parked in the open. During the initial strikes at al-Dailami airbase, pictures of the single CN-235-300M, one Beechcraft Super King Air, one AB-412 and one UH-1H destroyed or damaged on the ground emerged.
The F-5 looked covered by a net, while the Su-22s were parked in the open. Another picture showing the wrecks of two Su-22 and one F-5 jets emerged on 30 April 2015. On 4 May 2015, evidence of a Yemeni Il-76TD at Sana’a International Airport engulfed in flames emerged. The fate of the Yemeni MiG-29 fleet remains unknown while the assessment on the actual number of other air-frames destroyed is difficult to establish