The display of a stealth drone powered by a turbo-jet engine by Iran Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO) at the MAKS 2019 show in Moscow (August 27-Sept 1) may hold a clue to the Yemeni Houti attack on two Saudi oil refineries last weekend.
The Yemeni Houti Army used drones with a new type of engine, “something between a regular and jet engine,” Yemen's Army spokesman, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, said referring to the drone used in attacks on the Abqaiq and Khurais oil refineries.
Saree gave no other details about the drone in his interview to Al Mashriq TV, other than giving credit to “intelligence inputs from inside Saudi Arabia” for the attack’s success that specifically targeted storage and compression facilities with pin-point accuracy within the huge complex which knocked off 50% of its oil processing capacity.
While the Yemini Houti Army claims the drones were of its own make, the claim is not tenable going by the distance travelled and the precision strike achieved.
Presuming the drones travelled from somewhere near the Yemini border, the distance to the Abqaiq refinery is around 800km, and going by the US Pentagon claim that the drones were launched from Iraq, the closest distance is around 400km.
The IAIO had displayed a one-fourth scale model of a projectile called “Mobin” at the MAKS 2019 show accompanied by a life-size model of its engine called “Toloo-4 turbojet engine.”
The drones managed to fly at a speed and altitude undetected by the sophisticated Saudi Arabian defense radars. It shows the use of stealth drones with a level of technology never used before by the Yemeni Houtis and which could only have been supplied by the Houtis’ ideological master, the Iranian regime.
While IAIO calls the “Mobin” a “drone,” a marketing handout about the “Mobin” describes it as a “cruise missile.” Its key features, according to the handout are; Stealth radar cross signature of less than 0.1M2, mid-course guidance (which will help it avoid large obstacles) and terminal phase guidance (to guide it to the target).
The Iranian drone/cruise missile has a wide service ceiling (flight altitude) of 30-45000 ft, range of 450 km, speed of 900km/h, weight of 670 kg and a payload of 120 kg.
The New York Times wrote after interviewing intelligence experts that the drone could be the “Quds 1- a small cruise missile or a large drone.” However the experts also said that the range of the Quds 1 may not be sufficient to reach the target sites.
The Toloo-4 engine consists of 3 stage axial compressor, and 1 stage axial turbine. It weighs 55.9 kg with a diameter of 330mm and length of 1130mm-1330mm. Its thrust is rated at 345daN and an in-performance engine life of 20 hours.
This correspondent noted that the engine was the cynosure of all eyes of military experts who were visiting the IAIO stall.
The engine thrust is rated at 345daN with an engine speed of 28500RPM. Its hydro-pneumatic life is rated at 20 hours.
The Mobin-Toloo-4 combination, going by their on-paper specs, should have been sufficient to reach the Saudi refineries if launched from a distance of around 400km.
Russia has offered its S-400 air defense systems to Saudi Arabia after Yemeni Houtis managed to attack worlds largest oil facilities located in the country, dodging its protective armour that includes Patriot systems. "In order to protect Saudi Arabia, we are ready to provide the corresponding aid to the country
Cruise Missiles striking with great precision, rather than drone were involved in Saturdays Saudi Oil facility attack, the Pentagon said releasing satellite pictures of the strike. The projectiles attacked storage tanks and processing and compressor trains, the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies said
Yemeni Houthi rebels have reportedly launched a drone strike attacking the world's largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia early on Saturday using ten drones, causing a major fire. It wasnt clear if there were any injuries in the attacks in Buqyaq and the Khurais oil field, nor what effect it would have on oil production in the kingdom
Several dozen soldiers are reported killed or injured when Iran-backed Houthi rebels attacked a Saudi-supported government parade, in Yemens Aden city today. “A missile attack hit a military parade at an army camp west of the city controlled by a Saudi-backed government,” a security official was quoted as saying by Daily Sabah
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Iran unveiled speedboats that can attain a top speed of 90 knots (167 kmph) on Wednesday. "Today, marine vessels that cruise at 90knots/h will be unveiled," said Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, according to local media
The Iranian military on Thursday received new, indigenously-developed military hardware including bullet-proof tactical vehicles, reconnaissance drone and smart robots. The new pieces of equipment were officially delivered to the relevant military forces during a ceremony held on October 3, Press TV
The intelligence unit of Irans Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced foiling an assassination attempt against Maj. Gen
Drone swarm attacks of the type that crippled Saudi oil refineries, could be hammered down with an electromagnetic weapon called “Thor” developed by the United States Air Force (USAF) research laboratory. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) exhibited the counter-swarm electromagnetic weapon technology, called Tactical High-power Operational Responder (THOR), at the 2019 Air Force Association Air, Space, and Cyber Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, near Washington and Virginia, from September 16-18
US-supplied Patriot missile batteries with their powerful radars have come under fire for completely missing out on Yemeni armys drone attacks on Saudi oil installations. Saudis failure to defend its homeland was observed even in 2017 when Yemeni Houtis struck King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh
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