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Subject: Saudi considers Russian air defence systems
Le Zookeeper    10/12/2009 1:23:25 AM
Unless its taking over the prospective sale to Iram its a mega change in policy where Saudi was a US client state to the bone for military protection and material. A new multi-billion-dollar arms deal could see Saudi Arabia getting their hands on an advanced S-400 missile defence system. As Iran appear to be advancing with their long-range missile technology, and even perhaps their nuclear weapons activity, Saudi Arabia are looking to shore up their defences with the Russian missile system. Talks between Moscow and Riyadh are said to be in "advanced stages", according to Gulf analysts and diplomats. The S-400 is the newest version of the S-300 long-range surface to air missile system that Moscow has reportedly been in discussion for several years to sell to Iran, who continue to deny Western accusations that it is aiming to become a nuclear power. This latest development signals Russian intentions to detach themselves further from Iran, as the West - notably the US - look to impose tighter trade embargoes on the rogue state. Presure from Israel, who consider themselves most at risk from Iranian attack, has also persuaded Russia to move forward with, what is thought to be, a far more lucrative deal with Riyadh. If Iran'salienation within the Middle East continues, they cannot carry on refusing to meet the requirements of the international community. However, unless China shows its support of the proposed sanctions on Tehran, any penalties will struggle to gain any credibility. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, have shown its support by demonstrating the determination to prevent Iran gaining any further power to back up its strong position in the global oil market. "The Saudis would rather this weapon system not be sold to Iran or Syria," another possible buyer, said Theodore Karasik, director of research at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis. The S-400 missile defence system could be a part of a much larger deal with Russia that would signify an important diversification of Saudi arms purchasing from its main suppliers: the United States, Britain and France. On August 29, Russia's Interfax news agency said a two-billion-dollar arms package for the Saudis could include up to 150 helicopters - 30 Mi-35 attack helicopters and up to 120 Mi-17 transport helicopters - more than 150 T-90S tanks, 250 BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles and "several dozen" air defence systems. An unnamed source claims the deal involving the tanks and helicopters "could be done this year."
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Le Zookeeper    link again   10/12/2009 1:24:43 AM
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