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Saudi Skyguard 3 acquisition confirmed

26 February 2020
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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.

A Skyguard 3 fire-control unit can be seen in the background (left) of this photograph of US Navy Mk VI patrol boats arriving for an exercise at King Abdulaziz Naval Base. (Saudi Press Agency)A Skyguard 3 fire-control unit can be seen in the background (left) of this photograph of US Navy Mk VI patrol boats arriving for an exercise at King Abdulaziz Naval Base. (Saudi Press Agency)

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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