Saudi Arabia's acquisition of the Rheinmetall Skyguard 3 air defence system was confirmed when the Saudi Press Agency released a photograph showing one deployed at the kingdom's main naval base on the Gulf.
The photograph was part of a set showing US Navy Mark VI patrol boats arriving at King Abdulaziz Naval Base in Al-Jubail for the bilateral 'Marine Defender' exercise. A Skyguard fire-control unit with the distinctive antenna of the third-generation system's radar could be seen in the background close to the base's northern breakwater.
Satellite imagery shows a Skyguard with the standard configuration of two 35 mm GDF anti-aircraft guns and a fire-control unit was set up in that position in June-July 2019, providing the naval base with protection against low-flying threats such as cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
A Skyguard 3 was previously seen in a photograph that the Bahrain Defence Force released of the 'Peninsula Shield 10' exercise that was held in Saudi Arabia in March 2019.
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