Houthis Announce First Launch of “Hatem-2” Hypersonic Missile

Houthis Announce First Launch of “Hatem-2” Hypersonic Missile

The Houthi armed group has claimed the first-ever launch of a hypersonic missile named “Hatem-2.” This development, if verified, could dramatically alter the balance of power in the region and pose new challenges for maritime security in the Arabian Sea.

The Houthi Hatem-2 missile, reportedly capable of speeds exceeding Mach 8, was said to target the commercial vessel MSC Sarah V approximately 450 km from Yemen’s eastern coast. Houthi spokesperson Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree asserted that the missile was domestically developed, boasting advanced technology and precise long-range targeting capabilities.

However, international analysts suggest a different origin for the Houthi Hatem-2 missile. The weapon’s design bears a striking resemblance to Iran’s “Kheybar Shekan” missile, indicating potential Iranian involvement in its development and production. This connection raises questions about the extent of Iran’s support for Houthi forces and its implications for regional stability.

Houthis Announce First Launch of “Hatem-2” Hypersonic Missile

The Kheybar Shekan, a variant of the Fateh-110 ballistic missile, is known for its extended range of up to 1,450 km and solid propellant system. Its reported ability to travel at Mach 7-9 in its final approach phase, coupled with high maneuverability, makes it a formidable threat to existing air defense systems.

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If the Houthi Hatem-2 missile indeed shares these characteristics, it could significantly impact maritime traffic in the Arabian Sea and surrounding areas. The missile’s alleged hypersonic capabilities would provide minimal reaction time for targeted vessels or defense systems, potentially disrupting vital shipping lanes.

The introduction of such advanced weaponry into the Yemen conflict underscores the increasing complexity of the situation. It not only escalates the immediate threat to commercial and military vessels in the region but also raises broader concerns about the proliferation of hypersonic missile technology among non-state actors.

As the international community grapples with this new development, questions arise about the effectiveness of current missile defense systems and the potential need for new countermeasures. The claimed launch of the Houthi Hatem-2 missile serves as a stark reminder of the evolving nature of modern conflicts and the challenges posed by emerging technologies in warfare.

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