Monday, September 5, 2016

Saudi Arabia To Buy Chinese UAVs

DEFENSE WORLD - September 4, 2016

The US ally Saudi Arabia has signed a deal with China to buy drones that are capable of carrying missiles and laser guided bombs.  The drones Wing Loong (Pterodactyl), which are also capable of using other modern methods of firing, are beneficial to Saudi kingdom in its operation against rebels.  The agreement to sell the UAVs, developed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, was signed within the framework of the visit of the Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, the second Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Muhammad Bin Salman.  The medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAV is an effective tool for reconnaissance missions and information monitoring, Arab newspaper Al-Watan reported.  The UAV can also be used for civil tasks such as disaster assessment, meteorological operations, and environmental protection. Wing Loong II, an upgraded version of the Wing Loong, was unveiled at the Beijing Aviation Expo held in September 2015.  In recent years, there is friendly cooperation in the field of technological equipment and staff training as well ,said a member of the Chinese State Council, Defense Minister Chang Wanquan during a meeting with his Saudi counterpart Muhammad Bin Salman.  Saudi Arabia is the main platforms through which China aims to enhance its military as well as political influence in the Middle East, military analyst Viktor Baranets was quoted as saying to Sputnik News Friday.  The military-technical ties between China and Saudi Arabia could have some serious influence on global geopolitics and this could be a matter of concern for the US, the analyst added.