UK Air Defence Support to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Ministry of Defence written statement – made on 16th June 2022.

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Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace The Secretary of State for Defence

After the attacks on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) oil production facilities on 14 September 2019, the UK has worked with Saudi Arabia and international partners to help defend critical infrastructure and support the territorial integrity of the Kingdom. The UK deployed two GIRAFFE radars in February 2020 to help mitigate the continued aerial threats that the Kingdom has faced. The deployment was purely defensive in nature. It was necessary to repatriate these radars in December 2021, but the threat to Saudi Arabia has not abated and the requirement to support KSA remains.

The Ministry of Defence has conducted a phased follow-on deployment of air defence equipment to Saudi Arabia. The deployment comprises a small number of High Velocity Missile (Self Propelled) systems and associated personnel. As with the GIRAFFE radars, this is a purely defensive capability, and is being deployed solely to support KSA efforts to defend itself from persistent aerial threats to their territorial integrity.