On November 29, 2019, Yemen’s Houthi rebels shootdown of a Royal Saudi Army Boeing AH-64A Apache helicopter near the border with a surface-air missile, killing two pilots.
The Houthis announced late on November 30 that their Air Defense Force had shot down an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) of the Saudi-led coalition over the northwestern Yemeni province of Hajjah.
A spokesman for the Yemeni group said that the UCAV, a Chinese-made Wing Loong, was downed while it was carrying out “hostile acts” over the district of Hayran in northern Hajjah.
“The hostile warplane was targeted with a ground-to-air missile that will be revealed later,” Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari said, adding that a video of the operation will be released soon.
The downing of the helicopter was filmed on video and images showing the aircraft on fire after being reportedly hit by a surface-to-air missile.
In case of UAV, we don’t have a video to verify whether it was really shot down or crashed because of technical reasons) but photos once again posted on social media show Houthi militia posing next to the wreckage of a Wing Loong II drone in the Hiran district of Hajjah Province, on Nov. 30, 2019.
Confirmed Houthis shoot down a Saudi "Wing Loong" UAV in Yemen Hiran district pic.twitter.com/rxbOORWOf1
— Harry Boone (@towersight) December 1, 2019
Interestingly, the one that crashed in Yemen seems to be pretty intact, sports the “20207” marking/serial number and appears to carry two Blue Arrow-7 air-to-surface anti-tank missiles under the wings.
The Wing Loong UAV, originally referred to as a Chengdu Pterodactyl I, is a heavily armed drone with an endurance of about 20 hours and a range of 4,000 kilometers. Wing Loong II UAVs have often been photographed flying over Libya where UAE, the launch customer for the Remotely Piloted Aircraft, is known to carry out precision strikes against Islamic militants in support of Libyan Gen. Khalifa Haftar.
The Wing Loong II, an upgraded variant of the Wing Loong/Pterodactyl with provisions for up to twelve air-to-surface missiles, can carry the Chinese Blue Arrow-7 air-to-surface missile, or BA-7, a derivative of the Chinese semi-active laser guided HJ-10 for export market, with an effective range of 2 to 7 km and high-explosive anti-tank warhead.