Published: Tue, October 10, 2017
World Media | By June Phelps

Saudi Arabia agrees to buy Russian S-400 missile system

Saudi Arabia agrees to buy Russian S-400 missile system

Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia have agreed on delivering Russia's S-400 air defense missile systems to Saud Arabia.

The green light for the deal, which Saudi Arabia has long sought, came one day after King Salman met Russia's President Vladimir Putin and signed a preliminary agreement to look at Moscow's S-400 air defense system.

On Saturday, the US State Department announced the approval to sell Saudi Arabia 44 THAAD anti-missile defence systems, 360 interceptor missiles, 16 mobile fire-control and communication stations and seven THAAD radars at an estimated price tag of $US15 billion, according to a press release from the Pentagon's Defence Security Cooperation Agency.

"THAAD's exo-atmospheric, hit-to-kill capability will add an upper-tier to Saudi Arabia's layered missile defense architecture".

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The S-400 is Russia's most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system and can carry three types of missiles capable of destroying targets, including ballistic and cruise missiles.

"This sale furthers USA national security and foreign policy interests, and supports the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian and other regional threats", the statement said.

Lockheed Martin Co is the prime contractor for the THAAD system, with Raytheon Co playing an important role in the system's deployment.

"The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region", it said.

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Earlier, Saudi Arabia concluded a deal worth billions of dollars with the USA.

DSCA noted that adopting THAAD weapons will help increase Saudi Arabia's capacity to defend against potential ballistic missiles and other regional threats.

Last week, Australia said it will outfit its new naval warships with Lockheed's Aegis air-defense system, which is also used by the US and Japan and would help the three navies coordinate on missile-defense missions.

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