The United States has decided to withdraw some of the Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems from Saudi Arabia; at the moment, we are talking about four batteries and “dozens of soldiers” that were sent there after the attack on Saudi oil facilities last year. At the same time, as the American media write, the matter is not limited to the conclusion of anti-aircraft systems alone, two squadrons of American fighters have already left the territory of Saudi Arabia.
The Pentot’s withdrawal from the Saudi Arabia in the Pentagon is explained by the reduced likelihood of an Iranian attack, allegedly Tehran no longer poses a direct threat to US "strategic interests" in the region. This conclusion, according to the publications of the American media, experts came up with an analysis of the current situation in the Middle East.
This is the official version of the reduction in the US military presence in Saudi Arabia in general, and the withdrawal of anti-aircraft systems, in particular. But there are also unofficial versions that no one will voice to us, but we can still make some assumptions.
Without going into too much detail, like that, on the go, there are two other reasons for the withdrawal of four Patriot air defense batteries. The first is related to the April threats by the United States to withdraw its military contingent and air defense assets from Saudi Arabia amid disagreements between Riyadh and Moscow over oil prices. Then the Senate drafted a bill providing for the withdrawal from the kingdom of the US Army personnel, Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems and THAAD anti-ballistic missile systems. Subsequently, Saudi Arabia signed an agreement on the reduction of oil, but the Americans could still realize part of their threats “so that it would be disgraceful”.
The second reason may be last year’s fiasco of the American Patriot systems, which "overslept" the attack of drones and missiles on the oil facilities of Saudi Arabia. Recall that on September 14 of last year, two oil refineries were attacked by 18 drones and 7 missiles, three of which fell in the desert. The American advertised air defense systems covering the objects simply did not see this attack, failing to detect a single attacking target. They did not cope with the task.
After the attack, which Iran was incidentally accused of, the United States stated that the drone attack “could not be repelled by any separate air defense and missile defense system in the world, such threats are leveled only by a deeply echeloned air defense,” and the Patriot air defense system is still one of the best and most advanced systems in the world. However, belief in "the best weapon from USA "has already been shaken.
By the way, Patriot air defense systems do not always help the Saudis repel the attacks of the Hussites launching missiles from the territory of Yemen. There are several cases when, for various reasons, the complexes could not intercept the Hussite missiles.
Patriot will require replacement
It is difficult to say now what threatens Riyadh with the withdrawal of American anti-aircraft systems from the territory of Saudi Arabia. In any case, four Patriot air defense batteries will be replaced by other anti-aircraft systems, and which ones will already be shown by time. It is known that after an attack on oil facilities, in Riyadh, several options were considered to strengthen air defense in the fight against drones. In October last year, Saudi Arabia even purchased a Control Sky drone detection system (Ctrl + Sky) in Poland. The issue of acquiring Russian S-400 anti-aircraft systems was also considered.