Saudi Arabia is an essential partner in the global war on terror, although some experts call it a double-edged sword given its extensive support for Islamic terrorism. Saudi Arabia is the major player in the Gulf Cooperation Council and the largest producer of oil in the world. Saudi Arabia is a monarchy ruled by King Abdullah of the Saud Family.
Arabia became the
first Middle East
customer of the Patriot missile system
. Saudi Arabia currently maintains
the largest missile defense force in the Middle East with approximately
20 Patriot batteries positioned throughout
Iranian ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction program challenges Saudi Arabian status of a regional power. The consultations about the ballistic missile defense cooperation both within the United States and Gulf Cooperation Council are ongoing.
ey have expressed some interest in THAAD
along with other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
In June 2011, Saudi Arabia agreed by investing
$1.7 billion to upgrade its Patriot
batteries to the U.S. equivalent Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3)
Their air-defense net consists of 49 PAC-2
Patriots, MIM-23B Improved Hawk and French AMX-30SA batteries.
Saudi Arabia fields two variations of the more
advanced longer range Patriot SAM system, the Pac-2 (MIM 104C) and the Pac-3
They also field two variations of the Hawk
surface-to-air missile system (SAM) (MIM 23B I-Hawk and MIM J/K Hawk), which
have limited anti-ballistic missile capabilities.
Riyadh's (Saudi Arabia’s Capital) missile defense system is designed to defend the Kingdom against its primary adversary,