Saudia Arabia and Russia have agreed on terms for the sale of Russian-built S-400 air defense systems.

In addition, Riyadh and Moscow have also agreed on the sale of other weapons including small arms like the Kornet-EM anti-tank missile systems, TOS-1A “Buratino” heavy flame systems, AGS-30 grenade launchers and Kalashnikov AK-103 assault rifles.

During Saudi King Salman’s historic visit to Moscow last week, Russia’s Rosoboronexport state arms exporter and the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) had signed a contract to organize the licensed production of Kalashnikov AK-103 assault rifles and ammunition for them in Saudi Arabia.

The S-400 is a modern air defense system that can engage up to 300 air targets at ranges up to 250 km (about 150 miles). The system is also rated to intercept incoming ballistic missiles.

Analyst comment: Russia is engaging both Saudi Arabia and Iran, both of which are bitter rivals in the Middle East and both of which seek hegemony. King Salman obviously believes it is in his country’s best interests to hedge its own bets and engage Moscow even as it remains a primary benefactor of U.S. military largess. Everyone seeks an advantage, but this just demonstrates how countries manage their foreign policy based on self-interests, nothing more.

Why it’s on our radar: Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 4: What are the latest indicators of a new war in the Middle East?  Each week in our Strategic Intelligence Summary, we gauge the likelihood and scope of conflict with Russia, China, North Korea, and in the Middle East, and track the latest developments in each region.  Subscribe here to receive our premium intelligence products prepared by Intelligence and special operations veterans.