4 November evening in the area of the international airport King Khalid SAM "Patriot" fired one by one five missiles. An explosion followed in the area of one of the terminals and flashes of smaller explosions were visible, which immediately caused panic among the population.
“At the airport of the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, on the evening of Saturday, November 4, an explosion occurred. Reported by Al Jazeera. It is noted that the explosion thundered in one of the terminals of the international airport named after King Khalid in 35 km from Riyadh. According to unconfirmed data from local media, the explosion was the result of the interception of Saudi air defense missiles fired from Yemen. ”
Interesting implications of "interception", is not it?
A little later, the Saudis provided a fragment of the allegedly downed warhead, which, however, did not dispel the doubts of the skeptics.
The fact is that today, during the period of conducting large-scale information wars, you should not take the word of the interested party. And the interest of the current Saudi authorities to hide the consequences of the disaster (and this is a real disaster for their air defense system) is the most direct.
The armed forces of the kingdom are headed by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, to whom, contrary to tradition, his father bequeathed power (and probably will transfer it very soon). The failure of the army beats primarily on the image of the heir to the throne, who began just on November 5 with the mass sweep of princes dissatisfied with the new order (who were already arrested for the 11 pieces along with 25 by very influential people of the Kingdom).
Including the king of the Kingdom of the National Guard under Prince Miteb was arrested. What immediately made the heir to the throne the only owner of a real armed force.
In general, there were many reasons to hide the failure of Prince Muhammad. And the facts - a stubborn thing. And so let's understand.
Three is no longer an accident
Talk about a random puncture of the Saudi air defense system is not necessary. This was the third successful shelling of Saudi Arabia since September 2016.
Yemenis began bombarding Saudi Arabia with ballistic missiles as early as 2015. And it turned out they have at first very unfortunate. In June, the KSA air defense system intercepted the first Scud launched through its territory, then, on August 26, the second. But on the third attempt, the Yemenis were lucky. The warhead of the missile struck the Saudi air base, located in the south-west of the country near the town of Khamis Mushayt.
And then the shelling suddenly stopped.
A bolt from the blue broke out in September 2016, when Yemenis attacked a military unit near Taif (1) with a ballistic missile. The fact is that earlier all Yemeni missiles were beating at a distance of 500 km, and the distance to the attacked Saudi military base from the launch point was at least 700 km.
It became clear that the Yemeni rebels in service had a new type of ballistic missiles.
The veil of "secrets" opened on February 6, when the Hussites struck another blow to Saudi Arabia (at the Mazahimi military base (2) located 20 km west of Riyadh) and uploaded videos to the network.
In the photo we see a very specific missile warhead ("bottleneck"), which is not similar to the standard conical shape of the warhead of the previously used "Syrian" Scuds.
It is obvious that a country torn apart for more than a decade by a civil war cannot produce such high-tech products. Someone obviously helped them. And there were only two such “helpers”: the DPRK and Iran. And, most likely, it was Tehran, and here is why.
Saudi Arabia - the site for Tehran
In Iran, Yemen has long been viewed as a second front in the fight against Saudi Arabia. It was Tehran that revolutionized 2014 in Sana'a, which forced Saudi Arabia to introduce troops into the long-suffering country. It is Iran that has been helping insurgents with instructors, weapons and volunteers from day one to this day. This helped the Huthis withstand the onslaught of the Saudi army for two years. And, most likely, it was Iran that delivered new ballistic missiles to Sana'a, which were then launched at Saudi military targets.
Judging by the very rare launches, the main goal of Iran is not to cause material damage to the enemy. The psychological factor here is no less important. It is also very possible that Tehran turned Yemen into its own fighting ground (like Russia, Syria), where it can safely test its new developments in a real combat situation.
This has its own logic, and in the place of Iranian engineers and the military, it was a sin not to take advantage of this opportunity.
Why "Patriots" did not shoot down Iranian "Scuds"
And now let's try to figure out why the very “Patriots” who quite successfully fought off the attacks of the Yemeni ballistic missiles in the 2015 year cannot just as effectively deal with the new Iranian missiles today.
It should be remembered here that several years ago, a split head for the Shahab-3D ballistic missile was tested in Iran. According to media reports, the new stuffing of Iranian ballistic missiles consists of five warheads, each weighing 220-230 kg. Sharply reduced damaging power was able to compensate for sharply increased accuracy.
Iranian sources claim that they are up to 30 meters, although they are likely to be injected. For the east, this is normal.
And if we assume that one of these units was put on a rocket instead of the 750-kg warhead of the "Syrian" Scud "(or another, but also light), then here is the answer to all the riddles right away. Of course, a new rocket with a lightweight warhead will fly farther and accordingly faster. That will reduce the likelihood of its interception. But the most important point in the physical interception of warheads are its size. The smaller the target, the harder it is to impose an antimissile on it and the more difficult it is to hit it.
Even during the “Storm in the Desert” (in 1991 year) it turned out that the Patriot missile system was in most cases unable to destroy the Scud warhead. Therefore, during the modernization, the weight of the striking parts of the high-explosive fragmentation warhead was increased from 2 to 45 grams, which sharply reduced their numbers. At the same time, the third modernization of the complex to the level of “PAC-3” (namely, such “products” are in service with Saudi Arabia) allowed to increase its accuracy, which made it possible to retain the target probability parameters set within 0,4-0,6 for Scud missiles.
During one of the tests in 1999, it was even possible to knock down a full-time “medium-range” training target based on the second and third stages of the Mini-Man.
But, judging by today's events, it was nevertheless more of an accident than a regularity. Launching five missiles at a ballistic missile with a range of 1000 km and getting an explosion at a shielded airport is definitely a failure for the royal air defense and a great achievement for Iranian missilemen, with which you can congratulate them.