first published on January 9, 2018 by Sean
Houthi media outlet has released infrared FLIR footage of an alleged Saudi F-15 shoot down over Yemen. Still currently unacknowledged by the Saudi’s, this report comes just hours after another contested report surrounding the crashing of Saudi Tornado.
Houthi Rebels have released footage of the alleged shoot down of a Saudi Air Force F-15 in the skies over Yemen’s capital Sana’a yesterday. The footage was captured on a FLIR camera also exhibited in the video released by the al-Masirah network. This is the second claim by the Houthi’s that they had shot down a Saudi aircraft in less than 24 hours. The Saudis had previously admitted the crashing of a Tornado in Yemen due to mechanical failure but rejected the Houthi claims of having shot down the multi-role combat aircraft.
The video begins by showcasing the modern ball-turret thermal camera used to capture the images and the prominent “FLIR Systems” logo on its side and in its infrared view. The short video then switches to the infrared view recording of the cruising Royal Saudi aircraft just a few moments before the missile intercept. The venerable US made air superiority fighter must detect a surface-to-air threat as it begins to rapidly accelerate, the after burners glowing white hot in the thermal imagery.
Though the aircraft accelerates, it doesn’t take evasive maneuvers and remains on course and original heading until letting out two flares in quick succession. The attempt to distract the incoming warhead turns out to be futile as it impacts the jet almost immediately. The heat from the jets engines continue to distort the thermal camera but the missile appears to strike the rear of the aircraft, sending some visual debris flying. However, the Saudi F-15 remarkable takes the mid-air missile strike and continues to fly on until the video was concluded by its Houthi propagandists.
The video shows that the jet was hit by a missile but conveniently concludes without any evidence of the Saudi aircraft actually crashing. The F-15 has a long and exemplary combat record, including an infamous incident in which an Israeli F-15 had lost an entire wing to a mid-air collision and was able to safely land. While the aircraft was almost certainly damaged in the incident, it’s possible that the jet did survived the explosion. It’s also possible that the aircraft continued out of Houthi controlled territory but crashed before landing. The fate of the pilot is still unknown and until the Saudi military concocts its own version of events, Houthi propaganda is all we have to go on.