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Seeker UAV crashes in Yemen

Seeker UAV crashes in Yemen

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was shot down near the Saudi border in Yemen’s northern Sadah province, the Al-Masirah news channel reported on 5 July.

It broadcast footage showing the wreckage of a UAV that appeared to be a Denel Dynamics Seeker 200 (previously known as the Seeker II). Like the Seeker family, the crashed UAV had a twin-boom configuration and fixed undercarriage. Its wings were also the same shape as those of the Seeker 200.

The camera focused at one point on a part made by the South African subsidiary of Carl Zeiss Optronics (which was renamed Cassidian Optronics in October 2012 and is now Airbus Defence & Space Optronics).

Although the Seeker 200 can carry other payloads, the Airbus DS Optronics Goshawk-II is the electro-optical system listed for the UAV on the Denel Dynamics website. A laser radiation warning sticker was seen in the video, suggesting the crashed UAV was carrying the Goshawk-II HDT system with a laser designator/range finder.

Of the nine Arab countries contributing to the Saudi-led coalition that is currently bombing Yemen, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the only one known to operate the Seeker 200.

This was revealed by US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks, which said that in 2003 the UAE promised to deploy some of its newly acquired Seeker IIs to Afghanistan. While this deployment was cancelled in 2004 as the UAVs were needed for border patrols, an Emirati Seeker II was eventually deployed to Afghanistan in 2009.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, operates the comparable Selex ES Falco tactical surveillance UAV.

Source: Seeker UAV crashes in Yemen – IHS Jane’s 360

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