RIYADH, ($1=3.75 Saudi Arabian Riyal) – Saudi Arabia has decided to abandon the purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, instead – it has decided to strengthen the agreements with the United States for the purchase of THAAD anti-missile systems, concluded in 2017, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Defense Express. On the card is a contract worth up to $ 15 billion.
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According to sources, Riyadh and the White House have agreed on the possible purchase of THAAD anti-missile systems in 2017, with the estimated purchase price set at $ 15 billion.
An intergovernmental agreement on the possible supply of THAAD systems was signed by Saudi Arabia and the United States in November 2018, but the case was further “delayed” by White House sanctions against Riyadh for plotting to assassinate journalist Jamal Hashshoghi.
Practice shows that the Patriot systems available in Saudi Arabia are not capable of shooting down ballistic missiles and “kamikaze drones” used by Yemeni Hussite fighters.
Therefore, Riyadh as an alternative began to consider the possibility of buying a Russian SAM. The Russians began to impose their S-400s, but here, it seems, the White House has decided to intervene and “recall” the agreements of the 2018 model for the possible delivery of missile defense systems THAAD.
Lockheed Martin, a manufacturer at THAAD, says the first deliveries of these missile defense systems to Saudi Arabia will begin in 2023 and will be completed by 2027. The number of complexes planned for delivery and the final cost of delivery were not disclosed.
Not a bluff, Russia intends to sell the S-400 to Saudi Arabia
As we reported, the deliveries of S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile systems to Saudi Arabia are possible. “This issue has been discussed, and the chances of fulfilling such an agreement remain,” said Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, Almaz-Antey’s deputy director-general for foreign economic affairs, in an interview with an Interfax reporter.
“It is reported that Saudi Arabia could become another buyer of the Russian S-400? How realistic are the chances of signing a contract with this country?” was the question of the Interfax journalist. “It was not a bluff, contacts were made, the issue was discussed. There is always a chance. How real it is – time will tell. In the East, there is a good saying: He who lives, sees. Wait and see,” replied Vyacheslav Dzirkaln.
During the interview, it was confirmed that Russia is fulfilling its obligations to supply S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to India and that training operations are currently underway for the Indian military. “At the final stage, we are fulfilling our contractual obligations. I can assure you that they will be fulfilled. In terms of training. For the first time, we trained a large group of foreign specialists in a specially created center at the concern. I would like to note the level of training, as well as the exceptional interest of Indian specialists in the study of complex, new technologies,” added the senior executive.
The answers also confirm the opinion of military experts of BulgarianMilitary.com that India can bring its S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems into full combat readiness immediately after the end of the training. “Indian professionals are ready for this. I want to emphasize once again: the level of their knowledge and attitude towards learning evokes respect,” Vyacheslav Dzirkaln said.
BulgarianMilitary.com reminds you that on March 12 this year, the head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC of Russia) Dmitry Shugaev said that Saudi Arabia could buy Russian air defense systems to repel drone attacks. existing weapons made in the United States cannot cope.
“In recent months, various sites have been attacked more and more often. And recently, very recently a port for oil exports was opened. They are thinking about it seriously,” Shugaev said in an interview with Russia 24 TV channel. According to him, Saudi Arabia “could potentially buy S-400”, as well as the “Pantsir” complexes.
In 2017, several Russian officials said that Russia and Saudi Arabia had signed documents for the supply of S-400 systems.
In February 2019, Russia’s FSMTC announced that Moscow and Riyadh were discussing the terms for activating the S-400 agreement.
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