Coming lately news from Saudi Arabia clearly indicate that Riyadh is actively preparing for a big war. Will Saudi weapon involved in the internal upheavals that will break the Arab monarchy, or the opposition of the Sunni and Shiite blocs grow into a war, or the Saudis will take part in the Syrian conflict, it is not yet clear. Nevertheless, it is obvious that the purchase of a huge amount of weapons in recent years and a sharp increase in defense spending are clear signs of a great thunderstorm in the Middle East.
Thus, the military budget of Saudi Arabia increased from 2006 of the year to 2010, from 31 billion dollars to 45 billion US dollars. In 2012, Saudi Arabia has already spent 52,5 billion US dollars for military needs. Saudi Arabia is the only Arab country that is constantly among the top ten countries with a huge military budget. The growth in military spending in Saudi Arabia, which for a rather long period has enjoyed security guarantees from the United States, is impressive. The military budget of Saudi Arabia over the past 10 years tripled.
In 2010, the Arab monarchy ordered a huge amount of weapons from the US - 60 billion dollars. The US Congress approved a deal for the supply of weapons to Saudi Arabia for this amount. As part of this deal in 2011, the United States sold a batch of F-15 fighter jets worth about 30 billion to Saudi Arabia. The Saudis will get the 84 new fighter, another 70 will be upgraded. As a result of this transaction, the Arab monarchy became the second largest operator F-15 after the United States. The roll-out ceremony of the first F-15SA fighter, manufactured for the Saudi Air Force, took place on April 30 of the year 2013.
The package of military equipment also includes the latest modifications of the helicopter AH-64D Apache Longbow Block III. Saudis should get 70 attack helicopters. In addition, Saudi Arabia plans to receive Sikorsky UH-72M Black Hawk 60 transport helicopters, Boeing AH-36i Little Bird light reconnaissance helicopter, and 6 MD Helicopters MD-12F helicopter. All the mentioned military equipment will be supplied in the latest versions and will be equipped with the latest versions of engines, surveillance systems, intelligence, self-defense, guidance and information sharing, equipped with weapons and ammunition.
In 2012, Saudi Arabia bought from the US 20 military transport aircraft HC-130J Super Hercules and 5 KC-130J tankers. The contract amount is 6,7 billion dollars. In 2013, the Ministry of Defense of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ordered US weapons for 11 billion dollars. Saudi Arabia has made an application for 6,8 billion. Dollars and intends to get 650 cruise missiles AGM-84H SLAM-ER-class "air-surface», 973 planning responsive bombs AGM-154C JSOW, 400 anti-ship cruise missiles AGM-84L Harpoon Block II, thousands of bombs GBU-39 / B SDB and other weapons.
In 2013, Saudi Arabia ordered the United States 69 major combat tanks M1A2 Abrams. The contract value is 132 million dollars. The order of new main battle tanks is an integral part of a large-scale program to modernize the tank fleet of the army. The Saudis in 2008 began work on the modernization of the M1A1 and M1A2 tanks in the M1A2S version for Saudi Arabia. Modernization of the main battle tanks should improve their tactical and technical characteristics and increase combat effectiveness.
In 2013, the Saudi Ministry of Defense ordered heavy anti-tank BGM-71 TOW missile systems in the United States. The contract amount is estimated at 1,07 billion. Saudi Arabia made two applications. As part of the first agreement, the Saudis plan to get 9650 TOW anti-tank missiles in the 2A version, 4145 missiles in the 2B version, 91 TOW-2A and 49 TOW-2B missiles for testing, as well as related equipment, training equipment, etc. Heavy anti-tank missiles for testing, as well as related equipment, simulators, etc. get the National Guard. The second application provides for the supply of ground forces of Saudi Arabia 750 anti-tank missiles TOW in the 2B version, thousands of missiles in the 2A version, as well as seven TOW-2B and the same number of TOW-2A for testing, as well as related equipment and services.
Riyadh, especially lately, when relations with Washington became aggravated due to a change in the US position on Syria and the Iranian nuclear issue, intensified military-technical cooperation with other countries - Western European countries, Turkey, Pakistan and China. There is the possibility of Russia's participation in the modernization of the Saudi armed forces.
In October 2013, BAE Systems delivered the last pair of Eurofighter Typhoon fighters to Saudi Arabia. Now the Saudi Air Force 32 machines of this type. In addition, the 72 fighter was also ordered, they are going to replace the F-5 light multipurpose fighter jets.
Saudi Arabia intensified military cooperation with Germany. In 2013, plans were announced for the purchase of five German submarines of a modified project, Type 209, worth 2,5 billion euros. In addition, in the future, Saudi Arabia is ready to buy up to 25 submarines with a total value of more than 12 billion euros. However, due to domestic political squabbles in Germany, where some politicians strongly oppose sales of German arms to Saudi Arabia, since they do not meet “democratic standards”, the prospect of this deal is vague. For example, in Berlin, they have already refused to sell to Riyadh 600-800 of Leopard 2 main battle tanks for a total of more than 10 billion euros. Although the probability of a contract still exists.
In addition, the Saudi Ministry of Defense plans to purchase 100 patrol boats in Germany in the amount of 1,4 billion euros. It must be said that in 2013, Saudi Arabia entered into a contract with the Spanish company Rodman Polyships for the purchase of 40 small-size patrol boats for coast guard and rescue services. This boat is 11,3 m long and is designated R33 XI. The patrol boats are equipped with two 350 l engines. with. and develop maximum speed up to 50 nodes. Boats have fastenings for equipping weapons systems.
In 2012, Saudi Arabia was the main buyer of weapons in Germany. Berlin in the 2012 year issued a permit for the supply of this Arab monarchy weapons worth 1,23 billion euros. In particular, the Germans supplied Saudi border equipment, small arms and software to control flying objects, etc. Germany could earn even more on the oil monarchy if it were not for the German public’s negative reaction to the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia .
France is hoping to become another major arms supplier for Saudi Arabia. Paris does not confuse human rights problems, but so far Riyadh is in no hurry to buy French weapons. So, at the beginning of 2014, the deal on the purchase by Saudi Arabia of short-range air defense systems, the Crotale NG, was disrupted. The French strongly hoped to sign a contract for the sale of short-range air defense systems manufactured by Thales. The contract amount was estimated at 4 billion euros.
In December, 2013, the news came that Saudi Arabia was ready to allocate 3 billion to Lebanon to buy weapons from France. The type of weapons supplied is not specified. Paris also hopes that Riyadh will buy several new frigates to replace the old and submarines (especially if it does not work with Germany).
At the same time, Saudi Arabia is developing military-technical cooperation with Turkey and Pakistan. In 2013, the Saudis expressed interest in buying the Turkish Anka UAV and the Altay main battle tank. At the end of January 2014, there was news about the talks between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan on the supply of Riyadh's new main Al-Khalid battle tanks and JF-17 Thunder fighter jets. It was also noted that after the purchase of Pakistani weapons, Riyadh could reconsider its attitude to the Chinese military equipment, since the Al-Khalid tank and the JF-17 aircraft were developed by Pakistan together with China. As a result, Saudi Arabia may in the future begin to more actively buy weapons from China. In addition, buying weapons from Pakistan is a political gesture. Islamabad needs financial support, Riyadh provides it. Thus, the union of Riyadh and Islamabad will be strengthened. So, rumors have repeatedly appeared that in the event of the appearance of nuclear weapons with Iran, Pakistan will help Saudi Arabia to become a nuclear power.
Another ally of Saudi Arabia in the region is Egypt. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are ready to pay for arms purchases by Egypt. Cairo, especially in connection with the revolutionary situation in the country, has no money for the purchase of new weapons. Previously, the United States provided great assistance to Egypt. Recently, however, relations between Washington and Cairo have deteriorated, as has Riyadh’s relations with Washington. According to media reports, Russia and Egypt initialed a contract for the supply of weapons and military equipment totaling more than 3 billion dollars. Cairo is interested in the supply of fighters, combat helicopters, air defense systems, coastal ship complexes and small arms.
Why does Egypt need a weapon? The answer is simple. The country is in a systemic crisis. In an environment where the entire region is gradually slipping into a state of permanent chaos and war, Cairo will sooner or later have to conduct a “small victorious war” on one or several fronts. The main problem that in the future could plunge the 85-million country into chaos is the question of fresh water. Egypt will have to fight over the waters of the Nile with the countries located in the upper reaches of the great river. In addition, there is a scenario of attack on Libya covered by distemper, which will allow to capture the Libyan huge underground reservoirs of fresh water. Do not forget the problem of Palestine. The outlook for Israel in the turmoil that covers the Middle East is vague. Egypt is unlikely to stay away from this conflict.
14 February 2014, the news about another large-scale purchase of weapons by Saudi Arabia. Riyadh bought armored vehicles for a total of 10 billion US dollars with an option for another 3 billion dollars. The contract for the supply of armored vehicles was awarded to the Canadian division of the American concern General Dynamics - General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada (GDLS). Types of contracted technology are not disclosed. Contract validity - 14 years. Canadian Foreign Trade Minister Ed Fast said that this is the largest military export contract in stories country. GDLS spokesman Ken Yamashita said that, under the terms of the contract, the company does not have the right to disclose the number or type of vehicles ordered under this agreement, but these “will be new cars” and the first cars will come off the assembly line in 2016.
It should be noted that the company GDLS is one of the world's largest manufacturers of wheeled armored vehicles. The company produces armored vehicles for the US and Canadian armed forces of the Piranha series with the wheel formula 8х8 - they are known under the designations LAV-I (LAV-25), LAV-II, LAV-III, etc. For the US Army, the variation LAV-III is produced - Stryker armored vehicles. In addition, in the last decade for the US Armed Forces, the company has been producing various MRAP-class armored vehicles. Currently, the British are producing light armored vehicles Ocelot.
Since the beginning of 1990 for Saudi Arabia, GDLS has supplied large quantities of LAV-25 armored vehicles in various modifications. It was delivered around 2500 armored vehicles. In 2009, the last major contract worth 2,2 billion was concluded. According to him, General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada from 2011 has been supplying the National Guard of Saudi Arabia 724 armored vehicles based on LAV-25 in various modifications. In 2011, an additional contract was signed in 350 million for the supply of the National Guard of Saudi Arabia with 82 machines based on LAV-25.
The National Guard operates in parallel with the traditional army, as a counterweight to the Land Forces of the Kingdom controlled by the royal family. Members of tribes that traditionally support the rule of the Saudi dynasty are recruited into it. The National Guard has about 200 thousand people, divided into infantry and mechanized brigades, special units and military police. In 2013, the National Guard was transformed into a ministry. The tasks of the new ministry are to assist the Ministry of Internal Affairs in maintaining security, combating terrorism and protecting vital facilities in the kingdom, and, if necessary, supporting the Ministry of Defense.
Even more interesting is the news of the purchase by Riyadh of China of DF-21 medium-range ballistic missiles. On this, referring to sources from American intelligence, according to Claudio Gallo in an article published on the website La Stampa. Rumors about the purchase by Riyadh of medium-range ballistic missiles have been going on for many years. The American magazine Newsweek reported that Riyadh, with the help of the CIA, got these missiles back in 2007 year. The basic version of the DF-21 rocket has a range of 1700 km with a drop weight in 600 kg. It should also be noted that there is data on China's shipments of Dongfeng 60А missiles to 3 with a range of 2800 km (up to 4000 km with lightweight warhead) to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia received these missiles in 1987 year. These missiles became the basis of the Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Forces. In 2013, the new headquarters building and academy of the Strategic Rocket Forces in Riyadh was solemnly opened.
At the same time, it should be noted that the Saudis have problems in servicing military equipment. Numerous foreign experts help them in this. The main role is played by the Americans, there are experts from Western Europe, the Chinese are watching over ballistic missiles. There are also many Pakistani warriors in the kingdom. It is possible that due to the expansion of the military-technical cooperation of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, their number will increase. We must also recall the problems in the development of the Navy of Saudi Arabia. Saudis are primarily residents of the desert, the sea is not their element. Therefore, with a large-scale upgrade fleet the participation of foreign experts is inevitable.
And besides, the Saudis have almost no combat experience. Their armed forces are not capable. In 2010, Saudi troops took part in Operation Blasted Land against the rebels in Yemen. Yemeni tribal armed groups were better prepared for war than the Saudis. In March 2011, Riyadh sent a limited military-police contingent to Bahrain and prevented the victory of the next Arab revolution in this monarchy. The Saudis prefer to act with the hands of numerous mercenaries and terrorist, Islamist movements.
What is Saudi Arabia for military power?
As you know, the United States for several decades are the guarantor of the military security of the Arab monarchy. Saudi Arabia actively supported the Americans in the struggle against the Soviet Union, including during the Afghan campaign. Riyadh was the organizer and sponsor of various radical Islamist movements within the framework of the “Islam against the USSR” program. After the collapse of the USSR, this program was continued as “Islam against the Russians”.
Riyadh supported Washington in the course of a project to “modernize the Near and Middle East”, which envisages the collapse of a number of secular states into a larger number of state entities that are easy to manipulate. In addition, this project should create a huge hotbed of instability on the borders of the European Union, Russia, China and India. Thus, the United States strikes at its main competitors, the states-civilizations, while maintaining the positions of the “island of stability” in a sea of chaos and getting the opportunity to build its New World Order. The project has successfully started. Sudan is ruined, Libya and Mali are in a state of permanent chaos, Egypt is reeling, there is a war in Syria, and the conflict in Iraq is actively developing. Under the threat of the republic of Central Asia.
However, the implementation of this plan has for some time been contrary to the aspirations of Riyadh. With the further growth of chaos in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is also waiting for the collapse of several state entities. In this case, the ruling dynasty threatens the death or loss of power over most of the territory, with the corresponding loss of a significant part of world influence and wealth. It does not suit the Saudis. They cherish plans for the creation of the “Great Caliphate”, where Saudi Arabia and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Persian Gulf (GCC) should play the role of a nucleus uniting a significant part of the Arab and Islamic world. The Great Caliphate should become one of the leading players on the world stage. Therefore, in recent years, the GCC has intensified integration processes, including in the defense sphere.
The military buildup completely fits into Riyadh’s plans to build a caliphate. A lot of weapons are needed to impress the Arab world, to create the backbone of the future caliphate forces.
Another serious move that should make Saudi Arabia the leader of the Arab world is getting nuclear weapons. Recently, news about the desire of Riyadh to get a “sticky club” appear more and more often. So, February 15 has the news that Saudi Arabia is ready to become a nuclear power if the United States and its allies allow Iran to continue enriching uranium.
At the official level, it was announced that Riyadh will actively develop the nuclear energy program. By 2030, they plan to build 16 reactors, and by 2032, they will introduce 17 GW of nuclear power. It is possible that Russian specialists will take part in this project. Negotiations on this topic are underway. Riyadh wants to get a full cycle of nuclear fuel production. For this purpose, the Arab monarchy welcomes specialists in atomic energy.
Prince Turki ibn-Faisal Al Saud, former chief of intelligence of Saudi Arabia, at a recent security conference in Munich, said that if Tehran was allowed to enrich uranium, Riyadh would respond accordingly. In 2013, the former head of the Israeli military intelligence, Amos Yadlin, said at a press conference in Sweden that, if Tehran would have an atomic bomb, "the Saudis will not wait a single month." “They will go to Pakistan and buy everything they need,” said Yadlin. Later in Pakistan, reports appeared in Western media stating that Islamabad was ready to transfer nuclear charges prepared by Pakistani experts to Riyadh. However, an unpleasant aftertaste remained. Obviously, sooner or later Saudi Arabia will become a nuclear power if it is not destroyed by this time.
Currently, Riyadh has developed a stormy activity, knocking together teams of mercenaries, supporting the Islamists in Syria and Iraq, where there is a real war in the province of Anbar. Saudis are planning to form a whole army of foreign mercenaries. This army is planned to be used in the fight against opponents in the region and, above all, in aggression against Syria. Apparently, the agenda and the collapse of Iraq. Islamists in Iraq have captured another city - Suleiman Beck, located in the north of the country in 160 km from Baghdad. In December, 2013 gangs took Fallujah and Ramadi. There is an opinion that the Saudis are ready to completely change the balance of forces in the region in favor of the Sunni bloc, having developed with the help of their mercenaries success against Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well as creating a Sunni state entity in Iraq.
The main opponent of Saudi Arabia in the region is Iran. In November, 2013, even the opinion was expressed that Tel Aviv and Riyadh were ready to forget about mutual hostility and agreed on joint actions against Tehran. In particular, it was reported about the readiness of the Saudis to give Israel their airspace if the Israelis want to strike at Iran.
Anyway, the region continues to slide into chaos and teeters on the brink of a big war. The militarization of Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region is a serious sign of the coming regional war.