Saudi Arabia and expensive Patriot systems!
Saudi Arabia’s Patriot missile systems is running out of the ammunition due to widespread Ansar Allah drone and missile strikes, and Saudi Arabia is now urgently appealing to the U.S. and its Persian Gulf and European allies for a resupply.
The Patriot system is a medium-range air defense system capable of meeting aerodynamic and ballistic targets. Saudi Arabia is one of the main users of this system and in recent years has widely purchased patriot systems and its missiles.
This system was designed and built by the American companies Raytheon and Lockheed Martin in the 70s and 90s. In addition to the US military, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Japan and Taiwan are also equipped with the system. Among these countries, Saudi Arabia is the second largest user of Patriot missile system after the United States.
In the years after the Islamic Revolution of Iran, Saudi Arabia has sharply increased the level of its military rivalry with Iran. With the start of the Saudi coalition invasion of Yemen and Ansar Allah’s reciprocal attacks on Saudi territory, the Saudis’ dependence on the Patriot system has greatly increased. To the extent that the country has leased more patriot systems from the United States and Greece.
The price of each Patriot missile is estimated at $ 1 to $ 6 million, depending on the type, and Saudi Arabia appears to have spent more than $ 10 billion to purchase Patriot missiles so far.
Read more: Military Knowledge: Patriot Missile System
Data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) show that Saudi Arabia has purchased Patriot missiles in several stages.
According to the statistics, it seems that Saudi Arabia has purchased more than 2,800 missiles for the Patriot systems
Details of these purchases are as follows:
1- In the years 1993-1995, 384 rounds of Patriot PAC-2 GEM missiles
2- In the years 1997-1995, 781 rounds of PAC-2 GEM missiles
3- In the years 1999-1998, a total of 629 PAC-2 GEM missiles
4- In the years 2019-2017, 320 PAC-3 MSE missiles
5- In the years 2020-2019, 130 PAC-3 MSE missiles
6- An unknown number of Patriot PAC-3 missiles have been ordered by Saudi Arabia in 2018 and are being delivered.
Examining other sources, such as database of US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, it appears that Saudi Arabia also ordered 600 Patriot PAC-3 missiles in 2015.
Timothy Lenderking, the U.S. special envoy for Yemen, said at a forum on December 3 that the Ansar Allah have conducted about 375 cross-border attacks into Saudi Arabia in 2021. This statistic comes at a time when most of Saudi Arabia’s defensive confrontations with Ansar Allah have taken place through the Patriot defense systems. Thus, the Saudi Patriot missile arsenal will face problems in the not-too-distant future, and the supply of those missiles will cost another billion dollars for the country.
Apart from this, the Patriot system has performed poorly in some Ansar Allah operations, such as Operation Second Deterrence Balance on September 14, 2019. In this attack, Buqayq and Khurais refineries were targeted by successful Ansar Allah drone and missile attacks, and Saudi oil exports were severely disrupted. The attack inflicted heavy losses on the country’s economy, and Western countries struggled to control rising oil price.
In general, the Saudis Patriot systems needs billions of dollars financial support to continue to deal with Ansar Allah drones and missiles, and this has been hampered by Biden’s cold approach to the Saudis. Ansar Allah is now increasingly attacking Saudi coalition positions deep inside Saudi Arabia by increasing the accuracy of its drones and missiles, and Saudi Arabia is forced to buy more to counter such attacks; Because without sufficient stockpiles of Patriot missiles, Ansar Allah continued attacks could lead to serious damage to important and vital infrastructure of Saudi Arabia.