Raybolt ATGM Deployed In Yemen

///Raybolt ATGM Deployed In Yemen

Noah Blough

South Korea’s standard medium range missile, the Raybolt, was first deployed last month on the Saada front in northern Yemen. These types of anti-tank weapons are employed against  positions, vehicles, and armoured targets, being more specialized and effective than the RPG-7 . While at first generally contained by state actors these types of weapons have been proliferated through out the region. ATGMs such as the Raybolt have become essential to the modern asymmetric battlefield.

Anti Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) are designed to destroy armored, vehicles positions; using various methods of guidance effective at distances of up to about 15 miles (25 km). Originally a larger and bulky system, many developers have been attempting to reduce size and weight of these weapons, allowing for more mobility rough terrain or tight urban settings on most modern battlefields. This trend focusing on maneuverability has also affected developments to the operating missile guidance system. Initial models of ATGMs required the operator to remain in place, using traditional systems such as wired or illuminated guidance. However the Raybolt and several of its competitors utilize what is called “fire and forget,” allowing the operator to change position after firing while the missile remains guided. These types of weapons have become popular among insurgents who are able now more effectively able wage asymmetrical tactics against the mechanized infantry of state actors.

The Raybolt was being used by Saudi Arabian Land Forces near the mountainous border between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, it can be inferred its primary tactical advantage in that region is neutralizing fortified Houthi positions. The video displays little of the ATGM’s tactical capabilities other than its ability to destroy a technical, despite having line of sight broken. Due to the coalition’s reasonable hesitations in deploying missile systems to the front, it is unlikely we will be seeing the full range of the Raybolt’s capabilities in the near future.