Saudi patriot SAM battery engages multiple Burkan-2 ballistic missiles

Saudi Patriot SAM battery successfully engaged seven Houthi Burkan-2 short range ballistic missiles launched against the Kingdom from Yemen, on Sunday night.

Three missiles were fired against the capital Riyadh, two against Jizan and one each toward Khamis Mushayt and Najran regions.

While all the Houthi ballistic missiles were neutralized by the Saudi Royal Air Defense Force Patriot PAC-2 SAM battery with the MIM-104C surface to air missiles.

Two MIM-104C missiles launched to intercept the Burkan-2 over Riyadh malfunctioned.

One of the missile exploded mid air shortly after launch from the battery, while another missile veered of its flight path and hit residential area.

The Burkan-2 is reportedly based on Iranian Qiam-1 ballistic missile with a claimed range of ~800 km, which in turn is based on the Soviet era Scud missile. It is launched from a Transporter-Erector-Launcher (TEL) vehicle.

The rebels have also repurposed the S-75 (SA-2 'Guideline') surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems to create the Qaher-1 and Qaher -M2 surface to surface ballistic missiles with a range of 250 and 350 km respectively.

The incident comes days after Houthis crippled a Saudi Air Force F-15 fighter jet using a modified R-27 air to air missile.

Even though with failures, the Patriot has been highly successful in defending the kingdom from the inaccurate Houthi ballistic missiles.

The PAC-2 operational with Saudi Arabia has limited capabilities against ballistic missiles, being designed as an anti-aircraft weapon.

The latest PAC-3 variant is specifically adapted for intercepting short-range tactical ballistic missiles.

Hence, Saudi is bolstering its air defense system further with the acquisition of the S-400 missile system from Russia under a deal worth $3 billion signed in October 2017. It has a operational engagement range of up to 400 km.