Introduction — Oct 6, 2017
Saudi Arabia has traditionally bought top of the range Western weaponry. However, the visit of Saudi King Salman to Moscow marks a change; not only is this the first time a Saudi monarch officially visited Russia but it could mark the beginning of a lucrative arms trade between the two nations.
Although the actual quantity and timeframe involved have yet to be declared, Saudi Arabia and Russia have announced that they are finalising an arms deal that will include the S-400 surface-to-air missile defence system.
The performance of Russian weapons in Syria enhanced their appeal in the eyes of potential buyers around the world.
One of the weapons system used was the S-400 and Russia’s military performance, ironically against Saudi-backed militants, has undoubtedly contributed to the sale.
Saudi Arabia agrees to buy Russian S-400 air defense system: Arabiya TV
Reuters — Oct 6, 2017
Saudi Arabia has agreed to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems, Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television reported on Thursday.
The report came during a visit by Saudi King Salman to Moscow.
The countries also signed a memorandum of understanding to help the kingdom in its efforts to develop its own military industries, a statement from state-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries said.
SAMI said the MoU with Russian state-owned arms exporter Rosoboronexport came in the context of contracts signed to procure the S-400, the Kornet-EM system, the TOS-1A, the AGS-30 and the Kalashnikov AK-103.
It does not specify the number of each system or the value of the procurement deal.
It said the procurement was “based on the assurance of the Russian party to transfer the technology and localize the manufacturing and sustainment of these armament systems in the Kingdom”, but provided no timeframe.
A number of deals have been signed during the recent trip by King Salman to Russia, the first by a Saudi monarch.