Saudi Arabia 'looking to buy' Israel's Iron Dome system

Saudi Arabia 'looking to buy' Israel's Iron Dome system
Military experts from Saudi Arabia have examined Israel's Iron Dome defence system used to intercept missiles, according to reports by a Swiss newspaper.
2 min read
09 January, 2018
Israel's Iron Dome system was used during the 2014 war with Gaza [Getty]
Saudi Arabia is reportedly seeking to buy Israel's Iron Dome system to boost its defence amid missile attacks launched by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Swiss newspaper Basler Zeitung reported a "European weapons dealer in the Saudi capital of Riyadh" said the Saudis are looking into the purchase of Israeli military ware, such as the Israeli Trophy Active Protection System (APS), which intercepts and destroys incoming missiles and rockets with a burst of metal pellets, akin to a large shotgun.

In September 2017, the Pentagon announced it would install the Israeli system on a number of its tanks, making it the first army outside of Israel's forces to do so.

The Iron Dome system, developed by Israeli state-owned defense contractors Rafael and the Elta Group division of Israel Aircraft Industries, was used during the 2014 Israel-Gaza war, allegedly intercepting 90 percent of rockets launched from Gaza towards southern, central and northern parts of Israel.

According to the Israel forces and Rafael, no Merkava tanks suffered damage during the seven-week battle.

The Basler Zeitung reported that Saudi military experts examined the Israeli military technology in the city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have official relations but various reports have recently emerged of co-operation between the two countries, who share a common foe in Iran.

Yemen's Houthi rebels, which Saudi and the US say are being backed by Iran, have launched ballistic missiles at Riyadh as a Saudi-led coalition carries out a bombing campaign in Yemen.

Following the first attack, the official Saudi news agency SPA said it was "a blatant military aggression by the Iranian regime which may amount to an act of war".