SANA’A – The Yemeni Air Force, Yemeni Army and the Popular Committees announced on Friday evening that a sucessful military operation has taken place, in which they managed to destroye the air defense system of the US-Saudi occupational forces in the western coast, a military source told Almasirah News.
Assistant Spokesman of the Yemeni Army, Col. Aziz Rashid, told Almasirah that the joint operation achieved its goal succesfully with a high level of accuracy, and succeeded in destroying the advanced defense system known as the “Patriot”.
Furthermore, Col. Rashid also added that the joint success of the armed forces in the destruction of said defense system in the western coast was in itself a “qualitative victory” for the army and the Popular Committees as well as the Yemeni Rocketry Forces and Air-defense forces, which proved itself able to outperform latest US defense technology.
The spokesman also added that the balance of power in the region will change in favor of the Yemeni forces in the west coast after this operation. Reports also indicated that the occupational forces initiated a high state of alert and emergency following the attack, in which a guided ballistic missile struck the Patriot system.
Like the Stinger missile and the Sidewinder missile, the Patriot is a guided missile. However, the Patriot is somewhat more sophisticated. In both the Stinger and Sidewinder missiles, the infrared seeker is sensitive to engine heat. A human being is responsible for finding and identifying the target, appropriately aiming the missile so that the its heat-seeking eye can lock onto the target, and then firing the missile.
A Patriot missile, instead, depends on radar. The Patriot missile system uses its ground-based radar to find, identify and track the targets. An incoming missile could be 50 miles (80.5 kilometers) away when the Patriot’s radar locks onto it. At that distance, the incoming missile would not even be visible to a human being, much less identifiable. It is even possible for the Patriot missile system to operate in a completely automatic mode with no human intervention at all (this may be what happened recently when a patriot missile system shot down a British aircraft).
An incoming missile flying at Mach 5 is traveling approximately one mile every second. There just isn’t a lot of time to react and respond once the missile is detected, making automatic detection and launching an important feature.
While the Stinger is a shoulder-launched weapon and the Sidewinder launches from aircraft, Patriot missiles are launched from Patriot missile batteries based on the ground. A typical battery has five components:
- The missiles themselves (MIM-104)
- The missile launcher, which holds, transports, aims and launches the missiles (M-901). This part is necessary because each missile weighs almost one ton.
- A radar antenna (MPQ-53 or MPQ-65) to detect incoming missiles.
- An equipment van known as the Engagement Control Station (ECS) houses computers and consoles to control the battery. (MSQ-104)
- A power plant truck equipped with two 150-kilowatt generators that provide power for the radar antenna and the ECS.