Potential UAV and Cruise Missile types used in Aramco strikes

///Potential UAV and Cruise Missile types used in Aramco strikes

Gladius Defense & Security Equipment Action Report

According to the US State Department, a combination of UAVs and cruise missiles were used by anti-Saudi forces in the attack on the Aramco oil facility.  Iran, Hezbollah and the Ansar Al Allah group in Yemen are suspected.  The following list, compiled by Gladius Defense & Security, identifies UAVs and cruise missiles potentially used in the attack, with links to the page of each weapon system for further analysis.


Ababil 2 (Container Launched) 

The Ababil 2 UAV is an attack and reconnaissance variant of the Ababil 1 target drone.  Primary armaments include unguided rockets and an internal warhead employed in suicide attacks.  Due to short-range, this type would have to be container or truck launched from within Saudi Arabian territory in order to strike the Aramco facilities. More information included in the link above.

Qasef-1 Loitering Munition (Container Launched) 

Designed to target radar installations, the Qasef-1 is a copy of the Ababil 2 built by Yemen’s Ansar Al Hallah (Houthi) militant group.  Similar to Ababil-2, Qasef-1 is employed exclusively for suicide attacks.  As with Ababil 2, range limitations would require launch from within Saudi Arabian territory, from a truck or container. More information included in the link above.

Shahed 129 (Land-Based) 

The Shahed 129 is the only Iranian built drone with the range to enter Saudi Arabian territory from outside the Kingdom’s borders. The UAV can be armed with Sadid 325 laser-guided missiles and could possibly been used in both target designation, and attack on the Aramco sites. More information included in the link above.

Cruise Missiles 


The Soumar is an Iranian built subsonic ground-launched cruise missile based on the Soviet AS-15 “Kent” air-launched cruise missile.  While exact information on capabilities are unavailable, it is estimated these missiles carry an 880 pound (400 kg) high explosive warhead.  A maximum range of 1,550 miles (2,500 km) suggests if these missiles were used to strike targets in Saudi Arabia, launch sites well within Iranian borders are a possibility. Furthermore, strike precision suggests, that if used, Soumar missiles, or their variants, may have been fitted with Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) capabilities.  This allows flight at lower altitudes to avoid radar detection and hit targets with greater accuracy. More information included in the link above.


The Hoveyzeh is the most up-to-date variant of the Soumar cruise missile, revealed to the public by the Iranian military in February, 2019.  The exact capabilities of the Hoveyzeh are unavailable, however it is believed to have improved range and payload over the Soumar and is potentially at parity with the Kent. The Hoveyzeh, like the Soumar, could also have been launched from anywhere within Iranian borders. More information included in the link above.