Saudi Arabia Chooses THAAD Over S-400 Air Defense System

Russia lost the battle to the US for the supply of S-400 air defense system to Saudi Arabia, Defense News reports.

According to the news edition, Riyadh no longer considers buying the Russian S-400 air defense system.

Thus, Russia has also lost out on a possible $15 billion contract. Earlier, practice showed the existing Patriot complexes in Saudi Arabia were not capable of shooting down ballistic missiles and “kamikaze drones” used by Yemeni Houthi militants.

Therefore, the Saudis wanted to replace their Patriots with THAAD systems and even entered into an agreement with Washington, but the whole deal collapsed when the US imposed sanctions on Riyadh.

After that, Riyadh seriously considered purchasing the Russian S-400. However, the White House could not allow such a turn of events and insisted that Saudi Arabia would reconsider the possibility of supplying THAAD systems.

According to THAAD systems manufacturer Lockheed Martin, deliveries of the first complexes to Riyadh will begin in 2023 and end in 2027.

The number of complexes and the final cost has not been specified yet.

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