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Saudi Arabia May Acquire Israeli Air Defence Systems

Saudi Arabia May Acquire Israeli Air Defence Systems
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The Associated Press has stated that the U.S. one THAAD and Patriot batteries stationed at Prince Sultan Air Base was quietly relocated outside Riyadh. The U.S. has removed them even as the Kingdom faced continued air attacks from Yemen’s Houthi rebels. These assets were transferred to the Kingdom after a 2019 attack on Saudi oil production facilities. Saudi Arabia is now seriously considering its alternatives, according to Israeli sources speaking to publication. On the list are China, Russia, and Israel.

Saudi Arabia May Acquire Israeli Air Defence Systems

Saudi Arabia is considering either the Iron Dome, produced by Rafael, against short-range rockets or the Barak ER, produced by IAI, was designed to intercept cruise missiles. Israeli defence sources told Breaking Defense that such a deal would be realistic, as long as both nations received approval of Washington; one source added that Saudi “interest in the Israeli systems has reached a very practical phase.”

Those same sources say that the Saudis have had low-level talks with Israel for several years about such systems. The talks began to take on more energy once the U.S. removed its air defence assets from the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia May Acquire Israeli Air Defence Systems

While Saudi Arabia was not part of the Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain, government sources say that even without formal relations, the two have exchanged security information for some years.

FNSS