CBRN Assessment

Saudi ballistic missile site revealed

10 July 2013

Saudi Arabia has a ballistic missile facility near the town of Al-Watah, 200 km west-southwest of Riyadh, IHS Jane's can reveal.

Satellite imagery taken on 21 March 2013 shows the previously undisclosed Al-Watah surface-to-surface missile complex in Saudi Arabia. (IHS/DigitalGlobe)Satellite imagery taken on 21 March 2013 shows the previously undisclosed Al-Watah surface-to-surface missile complex in Saudi Arabia. (IHS/DigitalGlobe)

Satellite imagery shows the Al-Watah site differs in layout from the two previously identified launch sites for the DF-3 intermediate-range ballistic missiles that Saudi Arabia reportedly acquired from China in the 1980s. Most notably, it does not appear to have a garrison complex.

Nevertheless, it has two large launch pads that are identical to ones that can be seen at Chinese DF-3 bases.

The liquid-fuelled DF-3 was an early Chinese nuclear weapon delivery system and is believed to have a range of at least 2,000 km with a 2,000 kg warhead.

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