Brilliant! The Houthis have turned the old SAM2 anti-aircraft missile into an anti-ship ballistic missile, with a final guidance
Houthi converts old SAM2 anti-aircraft missiles into anti-ship ballistic missiles
On 22 September, the Houthis in Yemen held another military parade. In the past two years, various newly equipped missiles and drones have been on display. One of the new anti-ship ballistic missiles, called the "Ocean", attracted attention because it looks identical to the old Sam-2 air defence missile. It is based on the design of the Sam-2 air defence missile. Because Iran introduced a ground-attack version of the Red Flag 2 (a copy of the Sam 2) earlier in the year, and because Iran and the Houthis have a close relationship in terms of weapons technology transfer, this anti-ship version of the Houthi Sam 2 is now thought to be a transfer of technology from Iran for the ground-attack version of the Red Flag 2, but with Houthi innovations in guidance.
The Houthis have previously displayed a ground-attack version of the SAM2, the Qaher M2 ballistic missile pictured below. The bomb is a transfer of Iranian technology from the Thunder 69 ballistic missile, which was developed from the B610 ballistic missile they imported in 1991. The B610, a ground-attack version of the Red Flag-2 air defence missile, follows the Red Flag-2 design in terms of aerodynamics, but the guidance is changed from the radio command guidance of the air defence missile to the Jetlink inertial guidance, which is better suited to ground attack. guidance. Although this minor improvement gives the missile relatively high flight resistance and a range of only 150km, its strike accuracy exceeds that of the Scud ballistic missile. The Iranians claimed it had a maximum deviation of 250 metres, which was better than the Scud and so met the needs of the Revolutionary Guards at the time, while the Thunder 69 and Qaher M2 ballistic missiles would have performed similarly to the B610.
The latest maritime anti-ship ballistic missile displayed by the Houthis is supposed to have been developed by adding image-end guidance to the Qaher M2 ballistic missile for ground attack. The optical guidance used for image guidance could be the Iranian-transferred Persian Gulf anti-ship ballistic missile or the Fatah Mobin tactical ballistic missile, both of which use image-end guidance only. The Persian Gulf anti-ship ballistic missile's optical guidance, while not of high image quality, is easier to identify targets because the sea background is cleaner than the land background. However, ocean-going missiles, like Persian Gulf missiles, are only suitable for attacking slow sea targets and fixed docking targets. Also, due to the poor quality of the guidance head image, the guidance logic may only lock onto the target with the largest strike area if there are multiple targets in the guidance head's field of view.
Because it is still using the large wing design of an anti-aircraft missile, the maritime anti-ship ballistic missile must have greater flight resistance than a normal special ballistic missile and must fly more slowly in its final phase. While this facilitates final guidance corrections, it certainly reduces the difficulty of interception for the opponent. In terms of the Saudi navy's current equipment, the Riyadh-class missile frigates (France's Lafayette class) equipped with the Aster 15 naval air missile and the Aventis-class 2000 missile frigates equipped with the ESSM modified Sea Sparrow are both capable of intercepting maritime anti-ship missiles. The only ships lacking air defence, such as the Medina class missile frigates equipped with Rattlesnake close-range anti-aircraft missiles and other support ships, are the lambs to the slaughter of the oceanic anti-ship ballistic missiles. So although not advanced, the Oceanic missile is still a deterrent in special areas like the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.
The latest maritime anti-ship ballistic missile was displayed by the Houthis.