Saudi Arabia have agreed a deal to purchase S-400 missile defense systems from Russia on Thursday, during the state visit of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz to Moscow.
The deal will allow the kingdom to acquire one of the most advanced missile defense platforms in the world.
The S-400 Triumf is an anti-aircraft, anti-ballistic missile and anti-cruise missile defense system that has been in service with the Russian Army since 2007.
The system uses four missiles, a very-long-range 400 km missile, a long-range 250 km missile, a medium-range 120 km missile and a short-range 40 km missile.
The system gives Saudi Arabia a multi-layer defense ability against aerial threats.
The S-400 is utilized by the Russian, Belarussian and Chinese armies. Turkey and India are awaiting delivery.
Although the kingdom utilizes an American-European missile defense base depending heavily on Raytheon’s Patriot missile systems, the inclusion of the Russian system will not affect but enhance the system in place according to Riad Kahwaji, Chief Executive of the Institute of Near East and Gulf Military Analysis in Dubai.
“The S-400 is an effective missile platform that can be effectively utilized as long as the communications network is in place,” he said. “As long as your command and control can talk to each other and see any emanating threats you are fine with this system in place,” he added.
Saudi Arabia already has an established early warning system with radars, early warning aircraft and missile defense systems, Kahwaji added.