Mustafa AY - TDO - 11.10.2017 Saudi King Salman made a visit to Moscow on the previous Wednesday. The topic that Saudi monarch and Russian President talked has many objectives ranging from purchase of Russian modern weapons to regional security. As a result of full-day meeting, Russia stated that they reached an arm deal with Saudi King, which is encompassing S-400 air-defense missile system, Kornet-EM anti-tank projectiles, TOS-1A mutliple rocket launcher system, AGS-30 automatic grenade launcher and Kalashnikov AK-103 assault rifle. The intereting part of this deal is S-400s because Saudis bought billions of dollars-worth ‘Patriot’ air-defense missile system from USA, which was the part of 110 billion dollar’s arms deal with US President Donald Trump.
Following proclaim of arms deal, ex-Pentagon official -Michael Maloof- stated that Riyadh couldn’t use missile systems of US-made THAADs, Patriots and Russian S-400s, which have just been purchased by Riyadh, without alien experts and extensive training. According to Maloof, Riyadh purchased both missile systems because those two systems have different technical capabilities on the field. Firstly, THAAD -Terminal High Altitude Area Defense works against ballistic nuclear missiles. That’s why, Saudis bought THAAD with the aim of eradicating possible ballistic missile attack from Iran. As for S-400s air-defense missile system, it works against the missiles launched from an aircraft and other non-ballistic missile launchers on the ground. The interesting part of S-400 story is that Riyadh has already purchased the same system that is Patriot from USA. He bought this missile technology to shoot down Yemeni Houthi’s missile attacks to Saudi Arabia in the previous years. So, why Saudi decided on taking the same system is full of question marks.