The Burkan-1 (Arabic 1 بركان) or Volcano-1[4] (also spelled as Borkan 1[5] and Burqan 1[6]) is a mobile short-range ballistic missile used by the Houthis in Yemen. It is related to the Scud missile family.[7]

Burkan 1
TypeTactical SRBM
Place of originYemen
Service history
In serviceSeptember 2, 2016[1]
Used byHouthis in Yemen
Weight7,300 kilograms (16,000 lb)[2]
Length12.5 metres (41 ft)[2]
Diameter0.88 metres (2.9 ft)[2]
Warhead500 kilograms (1,100 lb) conventional high-explosive[2]

800 kilometres (500 mi)[2]


Houthi forces unveiled the Burkan-1 when it was fired on 2 September 2016.[1][2] According to Saudi Arabia, the missile and related Volcano H-2 are of Iranian origin, with USAF Lt. General Jeffrey L. Harrigian, Commander, Air Force's Central Command in Qatar, agreeing.[7][8]


The Burkan-1 is a member of the Scud family.[7] Analysts identify it as being based on either the Scud-B[3] or Scud-D[4] missile. Its range is greater than the Soviet-made Scuds Yemen possessed as of 2015, suggesting that the missile is not of Yemeni origin.[2][9] Elements of the missile's design — including the inertial guidance system, fins, and control surfaces — are identical to those of the Qiam 1, leading several analysts and the U.S. State Department to believe that the missile is an Iranian-made Qiam 1.[4][10] The Burkan-1 carries a warhead weighing more than 1,100 pounds (500 kg).[2]

Operational history

The Burkan-1 was first fired on 2 September 2016, aimed at King Fahad Air Base in Taif, with Houthi sources claiming a successful hit but Saudi Arabia claiming there was no damage.[2][11] On 27 October 2016, another missile was fired, but destroyed in mid-air by a Saudi Patriot missile before reaching its target. According to the Saudi-led coalition the target was Mecca, but according to the Houthis the target was King Abdulaziz International Airport, near Jeddah.[12] On 28 July 2017, another missile was fired on a similar trajectory and intercepted in mid-air, leading to Saudi Arabia again claiming the target was Mecca and the Houthis claiming the target was King Fahad Air Base.[13]

See also


  1. ^ a b Yemenis unveil 'new' Burkan-1 ballistic missile. Binnie, Jeremy. September 7, 2016. IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. http://www.janes.com/article/63468/yemenis-unveil-new-burkan-1-ballistic-missile. Archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20170731043623/http://www.janes.com/article/63468/yemenis-unveil-new-burkan-1-ballistic-missile. Accessed November 6, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Missile Force Launches New Missile on Saudi Territory". Almotamar.net. September 2, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Brügge, Norbert (November 10, 2017). "The Soviet "Scud" Missile Family". Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Lewis, Jeffrey (October 27, 2016). "Yemen's Burkan-1 Missile". Arms Control Wonk. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  5. ^ "Retaliatory missile launched at Riyadh airport was Borkan H2, Yemen says". PressTV. November 5, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  6. ^ Lister, T; Albadran, A; Al-Masmari, H; Sirgany, SE; Levenson, E (November 4, 2017). "Saudi Arabia intercepts ballistic missile over capital". CNN. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Gambrell, Jon (November 10, 2017). "US Air Force official: Missile targeting Saudis was Iranian". AP. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  8. ^ "Saudis accuse Iran of 'direct aggression' over Yemen missile". BBC. November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  9. ^ Carlino, Ludovico (July 26, 2017). "Incremental improvements in Houthi militants' ballistic missile campaign increase risk to assets in central Saudi Arabia". Jane's IHS. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  10. ^ "Press Release: Ambassador Haley on Weapons of Iranian Origin Used in Attack on Saudi Arabia". United States Mission to the United Nations. 7 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Missiles fired from rebel-held Yemen land near US destroyer". Chicago Tribune. October 10, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  12. ^ "Yemen's Houthis launch missile toward Saudi holy city, coalition says". Reuters. October 27, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  13. ^ "Saudi coalition downs Yemeni rebel missile near Mecca". France24. July 31, 2017. Retrieved November 11, 2017.

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