Saudi Arabia developing new counter-drone system: SAMI CEO

A satellite image showing damage to oil/gas Saudi Aramco infrastructure at Abqaiq, in Saudi Arabia. (File photo: US Government/DigitalGlobe/Reuters)

Saudi Arabian Military Industries is working on developing a new counter-drone system to protect the Kingdom's vital infrastructure and military bases, according to SAMI CEO Andreas Schwer.

Speaking to Defense News, Schwer said the new national system will be developed with international partners and is currently in a testing stage.

“This system will have the ‘soft kill’ option and various types of ‘hard kill’ options to counter all types of drones from very small ones — the kind of Phantom IV type of threats — up to the professional militarized threats. Moreover, the system includes radars, command-and-control stations, and advanced networking capability,” Schwer told Defense News.

“We are testing the effectiveness to tailor the solution for the various applications because it makes a difference whether you put it on the borderline, civil airport, mosques or football stadium in the middle of the town, or a military site outside,” Schwer added to Defense News.

Saudi Arabia has faced repeated attacks in recent years from drones fired by the Houthi militia from the Kingdom’s southern border with Yemen.

Last September, a drone and missile strike hit and damaged key Saudi Aramco installations in Abqaiq and Khurais blamed on Iran.

According to a UN sanctions monitors seen by Reuters on Wednesday, the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen did not launch an attack despite initially claiming responsibility.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:05 - GMT 07:05
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