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.
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