Houthis Unveil New “Palestine” Ballistic Missile

The Houthis have released footage showcasing the launch of their new “Palestine” ballistic missile, which they claim was recently used to attack the Israeli port city of Eilat. The IDF, however, reported that the missile was intercepted.

The Missile and Potential Influences

Footage released by the Houthis has provided the first ever glimpse of the “Palestine” missile, which they say is locally produced.

The missile resembles that of the Iranian Kheybar Shekan-1 and Fattah-1 solid-fuel ballistic missiles, marking a distinct shift from liquid-fuel missiles that are more frequently used by the Houthis.

Of the two, Iran claims that the Fattah-1 is a hypersonic weapon, which means that it can maneuver both inside and outside the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds (greater than mach 5). The Fattah is comprised of a solid-fuel first stage and a second stage similar to that of a manoeuvrable re-entry vehicle (MaRV), which has a purported range of 1,450km.

Potential Heads Up

Back in March, Russian state media outlets RIA Novosti and Sputnik reported that the Houthis successfully tested a hypersonic weapon that “that can reach speeds of up to Mach 8 and is powered by solid fuel,” adding that “Yemen plans to begin manufacturing it for use in attacks in the Red and Arabian Seas and the Gulf of Aden, as well as against targets in Israel.”

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby denied the claims, stating that there was “no indication” that Houthi forces in Yemen had access to hypersonic weapons.

To Be or Not To Be Hypersonic

This is where things can get complicated.

As I always state when talking about this topic, there is this notion that in order to be a hypersonic weapon, it just needs to travel at or in excess of Mach 5, which is 3,800 miles per hour, but this is really not the case.

The definition of hypersonic weapons nowadays has two criteria, which is that it must travel at or over Mach 5 and that it must also be maneuverable (both vertically and horizontally) within the atmosphere. With that being said, there are hypersonic weapons and weapons that move at hypersonic speeds. The latter have been around for many decades and a perfect example would be intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), such as the United State’s LGM-30G Minuteman III, which can travel at Mach 23 (17,500 mph).

The reason why most missiles are not considered “hypersonic weapons” is because missiles follow a predetermined, arched trajectory and lack maneuverability within the atmosphere. I understand that the definition is a bit muddy, but roping in ballistic missiles and hypersonic cruise missiles into the same boat does not do their differences any justice.

Looking at previous statements made by Russian media, they could have been referring to the new “Palestine” missile, but referred to it as “hypersonic” purely based off of its speed. The White House could have denied that the Houthis had hypersonic weapons because they were looking at the criteria for both speed and maneuverability.

While the Houthis have not claimed that the “Palestine” missile is a hypersonic weapon, there is a possibility that it is a locally-produced derivative of the Fattah-1, considering its similar design and range (1,600km to Eilat). Likewise, there is no indication at this time that the “Palestine” missile has a second stage, suggesting that it is possibly just a single-stage medium-range ballistic missile.

The Attack

The video echoes previous statements that the missile was launched towards the Israeli port city of Eilat on June 3.

While the Houthis claimed that the launch “successfully achieved its objective,” the IDF announced that its “Arrow” ballistic missile defense system “successfully intercepted a surface-to-surface missile that was fired from the direction of the Red Sea toward Israel.”

There were no indications of impacts in or around Eilat that day.

Unbiased & Unfiltered News Reporting for 12+ years. Covering Geo-Political conflicts, wartime events, and vital Breaking News from around the world. Editor-In-Chief of Atlas News.


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