The American “Breaking Defense” website, which specializes in military affairs, reported, quoting sources, that “Saudi Arabia has contacted Tel Aviv about the possibility of purchasing Israeli-made missile defense systems.”
Breaking Defense pointed out that this comes at a time when the American missile systems on which the Kingdom has relied for a long time have been removed.
In a report quoted by the Associated Press, citing its sources, it stated that the American “THAAD” and “Patriot” batteries had been quietly removed from Prince Sultan Air Base, located outside Riyadh.
Breaking Defense explained that “although the withdrawal of air defense assets from the region has been expected for several months, it is not clear exactly when these US assets will go elsewhere.
The website quoted Israeli sources as saying that “Saudi Arabia is now seriously studying its alternatives, including: China, Russia and Israel, in a move that seemed impossible a few years ago.”
Specifically, the Saudis are considering bringing in either the Iron Dome, produced by Rafael, or the Barak ER, produced by IAI, which is designed to intercept cruise missiles.
Israeli defense sources told the site that “such a deal will be realistic as long as the two countries obtain Washington’s approval, and one of the sources added that “Saudi interest in Israeli systems has reached a very practical stage,” noting that “the Saudis have held low-level talks with Israel for several years about Such systems, but the talks began to consume more energy once it became clear that Washington would remove its air defense assets from the kingdom.
For his part, retired general, Giora Eiland, former director of the Israeli National Security Council and former head of the planning department in the Israel Defense Forces, revealed to the site that he expects “Washington will not object to the sale of these Israeli systems to friendly Gulf states.”
Source: “Breaking Defense”
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