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Saudi-Russian Military Deals including Air Defense, Anti-Tank Missiles | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Russian President Vladimir Putin shows the way to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, October 5, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Kadobnov/Pool

Moscow — In the framework of boosting the Saudi military capabilities and rehabilitating them with the strongest and latest weapons produced by the world’s major countries, military agreements were signed between Saudi Arabia and Russia during King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s visit to Moscow.

The deals are a culmination of the efforts exerted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense, who visited Moscow in 2015 and met with Russian defense minister.

The visit back then was concluded with signing a number of deals, including the activation of the joint committee for military cooperation, based on the discussions of the Saudi-Russian teams to identify aspects of cooperation in the military field.

This follows a number of agreements and the activation of the joint committee for military cooperation and the supply of these specific weapons and their commitment to the localization of technology and manufacturing of these advanced systems.

Moving from an importer of military systems to a factory by holding joint projects with the best international talent and expertise.

The deals included buying S-400 air defense system that works within five minutes to counter air targets, whether they were air crafts or ballistic missiles.

The agreement was announced on Thursday as Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted King Salman for talks at the Kremlin.

Along with the S-400 anti-aircraft missiles, Saudi Arabia is also set to buy Kornet anti-tank guided missile systems and multiple rocket launchers under the deal.

The parties will also cooperate in setting a plan to localize the manufacturing and sustainment of parts of the S-400 air defense system.

The two countries also agreed on the production in Saudi Arabia of the Kalashnikov automatic rifle and its ammunition as well as educational and training programs for Saudi nationals.

They signed an agreement to procure the TOS-1A, the AGS-30, and the Kalashnikov AK-103.

These agreements are expected to have tangible economic contributions and create hundreds of direct jobs.

It will also transfer cutting-edge technologies that will act as a catalyst for localizing 50 percent of the Kingdom’s military spending as targeted by Vision 2030, which was launched by the Saudi Crown Prince.