17 Nov 17. Dossier shows ‘Iranian’ missile that landed in Saudi Arabia. Key Points:
• The Saudi-led coalition has compiled a dossier of evidence of Iranian military support for Yemen’s rebels.
• It includes photographs of a ballistic missile that landed in Saudi Arabia.
The remnants of at least one Iranian Qiam ballistic missile have been recovered in Saudi Arabia, according to a Saudi-led coalition document obtained by Jane’s .
The document from the Joint Forces Command of the Arab Coalition detailed the evidence that Iran is providing military support to the Yemeni rebels the coalition is fighting. It was dated 5 November, a day after a ballistic missile was intercepted near Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport. The Saudis announced on 6 November that this and another missile launched into the kingdom on 22 July were made in Iran and had a range of 900 km. The rebels identified both as a new variant called the Burkan-2H.
The coalition document included photographs of a recovered section of one of the two missiles showing it had the same markings as those seen on Qiams, which is a finless ‘Scud’ derivative with a reported range of 800 km. These included the words “clamp here” written in English.
A second photograph purportedly showed one of the four conduits that feed into the steering vanes at the base of the Qiam missile: a distinctive feature of the Iranian missile as these are incorporated into the fins on other ‘Scud’ derivatives.
The document also noted that the warheads seen on the Burkan-2s that the rebels have displayed were the same shape as the ones used on the Qiam and that the launcher briefly seen in a rebel video of a Burkan-1 attack was pulled by a civilian tractor like Iranian systems, not mounted on an all-terrain military vehicle.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN on 6 November that the missile launched on 4 November had a guidance system and aluminium that came from Iran, but this assertion was not repeated in the coalition document. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Nov 17. UAE fighter contest will be one to watch. A Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and a Sukhoi Su-35 shared a common runway ramp for the first time at the Dubai air show.
As reports heat up of a budding competition between the Su-35 and the Lockheed F-35 for a United Arab Emirates air force contract, that unlikely pairing at Al Maktoum International seemed appropriate.
The UAE has long made known its interest in the capabilities that the F-35 brings to the table. More recently, Russia has claimed the Su-35 is under active consideration and in February signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi to study next-generation fighter concepts.
For its part, the US government appears uncomfortable with these developments. A top US Air Force commander bristled when asked about the possibility of the two jets operating side by side.
Since the apparent demise of a Russo-Indian pact to develop a variant of the Su-57, the F-35 has held a monopoly on exportable fifth-generation capabilities. No doubt, Washington would like to keep it that way.
What the UAE’s true intentions with the Russians are is unclear. Is it simply a negotiating ploy to extract better terms from Washington? Or is it part of a larger geopolitical manoeuvre to offset Russia’s Iran-centric approach to the region? Or perhaps a little of both?
In any event, the unfolding fighter competition in Abu Dhabi bears watching.
(Source: News Now/Flightglobal)
17 Nov 17. Chinese armour plays prominent role in Zimbabwe coup. The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) made extensive use of Chinese-made Type 89 armoured vehicles during what appeared to be a bloodless coup that ousted President Robert Mugabe on 14 November. Photographs and video footage of ZNA deployments around the capital Harare showed multiple Type YW534s, the armoured personnel carrier (APC) variant of the Type 89, armed with 12.7 mm heavy machine guns. At least one armoured recovery vehicle, one mortar carrier, one ambulan