Photo Credit: Flash90
An Iron Dome missile defense system deployed near Ashdod, January 20, 2014.
The Tactical Report intelligence website suggested a week ago that the UAE is eager to purchase Israel’s proven anti-missile system, Iron Dome. According to the website, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed is looking forward to purchasing the Israeli air defense system, and that he has been examining various models of this system since the signing of the normalization agreement with Israel in mid-September.
Given the participation of the American defense company Raytheon in the production of the interceptor missiles used by Iron Dome, the UAE believes that the Pentagon would support its efforts to obtain the Israeli system.
Tactical Report cited one downside of the Rafael-made system – the fact that it uses fixed launchers. According to the website, this means that any sale of Iron Dome to the UAE will be preceded by inquiries about technical issues and capabilities, to ensure that the system meets the UAE’s needs for a variety of short-range air defense systems.
Bin Zayed also showed interest in the Falcon air defense system, which is jointly produced by the US-based Lockheed Martin, the German Dell, and the Swedish Saab companies. Falcon was first launched in 2019, and the UAE submitted an initial purchase order at the time, but it’s not yet clear whether it has already been delivered to the UAE.
Meanwhile, Al-Khaleej Al-Jadeed reported Thursday that when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by the head of Mossad Yossi Cohen, visited Saudi Crown Prince Ben Salman, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on hand, the crown prince inquired about purchasing various types of Israel-made air defense systems.
Netziv Net pointed out on Friday that Saudi Arabia is often attacked by Yemeni Houthis using ballistic missiles with precise targeting mechanisms, which inflict enormous damage on the Saudi economy. Reportedly, Saudi Arabia has not begun to operate its new, modern oil production and processing facilities that have been completed recently for fear of being attacked and destroyed by the Houthis on orders from Iran. The Saudis are well aware that only the Israeli systems can guarantee them a clean and safe sky.
Meanwhile, Tactical Report has also suggested Qatari Emir Tamim has been increasingly concerned about the security and protection of liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants since the 2019 attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais in Saudi Arabia. As a result, the Qatari defense officials have also been to examine options for various solutions for critical air defense.
In late November, Qatar’s foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that his country does not have a position on the decision of its neighbors, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, to normalize relations with Israel. “The Emirati and the Bahraini decision, it’s their own sovereign decision to conduct a bilateral relationship, and we don’t interfere,” he said.