Yemen’s Houthi rebels acquire hypersonic missile technology, enhance their military capabilities

Yemen’s Houthi terrorist group has obtained a new hypersonic missile and upgraded its current arsenal with warheads, Russian state media RIA reported on Thursday.

Citing an unnamed Houthi official, the terrorist group told RIA that they had tested a hypersonic missile “with high lethality” and are planning to add it to their arsenal.

“The group’s missile forces have successfully tested a missile that is capable of reaching speeds of up to Mach 8,” the official said, adding that the weapon runs on solid fuel; Yemen intends to begin manufacturing it for use during attacks in Krasnoye. Arabian Seas and the Gulf of Aden, as well as against targets in Israel.”

Mach 8 is the equivalent of 9878.4 per hour. The US-based Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance categorizes a hypersonic missile as a missile that can “travel faster than Mach 5 [3800mph] and have the capability to maneuver during the entire flight.”

The unnamed official also reportedly claimed that the group had been upgrading their northern-based stock of missiles and drones, modifying them to have explosive warheads.

A boy holds a rifle as he takes part in a pro-Palestinian protest by Houthi supporters in Sanaa, Yemen February 18, 2024. (credit: REUTERS/KHALED ABDULLAH)

The Houthis did not provide evidence to back their claims, according to the Associated Press.

Houthi leader expands area of threat

Last week, Houthi leader Abdel Malik al-Houthi reportedly said, “Our enemies, friends, and our people will see a level of achievement of strategic importance that will put our country in the ranks of few countries in its capabilities in this world,” according to RIA.

Al-Houthi went on to threaten that the group would extend their attacks to ships heading toward the Cape of Good Hope in Africa’s southern tip, according to the Associated Press. This would indicate the Houthis are eyeing a greater range of attacks, as the group has focused on ships traveling into the Red Sea.

Disrupting the global supply chain

The Houthis, whose official slogan translates to “God Is the Greatest, Death to America, Death to Israel, A Curse Upon the Jews, Victory to Islam,” claimed to have begun their maritime attacks in response to Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza.

The group has attacked, sunk, and stolen a number of ships in their protest against the ongoing war. However, the US State Department warned that the attacks had prevented humanitarian aid from reaching civilians in Gaza and Yemen.