Military Capabilities

Saudi S-400 talks complicated by tech transfer

08 February 2018

The negotiations regarding Saudi Arabia’s acquisition of the S-400 long-range air defence system are not going smoothly due to Riyadh’s insistence on building the systems in the kingdom, Russian presidential assistant Vladimir Kozhin told the Kommersant newspaper on 7 February.

Saudi Arabia Military Industries (SAMI) announced in October 2017 that a memorandum of understanding had been signed with Russia’s Rosoboronexport defence export agency to “co-operate in setting a plan to localise the manufacturing and sustainment of parts of the S-400”.

Kozhin confirmed an initial agreement had been signed, but said the negotiations were being complicated by Riyadh’s insistence on a “sudden breakthrough” that implies it wants to acquire S-400s made in Russia while at the same time receive the technology necessary to build the system in Saudi Arabia.

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