Monday, November 13, 2017

Saudi S-400?

If to believe ITAR-TASS (only in Russian for now), and they are real news agency, unlike CNN or BBC, the contract for a delivery of some sort of air defense complexes has been signed between Russia and Saudi Arabia. This was announced by Dmitri Shugaev, the head of Federal Service of Military-Technical Cooperation, obviously not a janitor (nothing personal against janitors) or accountant. So, we assume he knows what he is talking about. Ramifications of this delivery (if it happens), the same as Turkey getting S-400 are enormous, this is apart from purely business point of view of Russia breaching the wall around what used to be strictly American hi-end weapon systems' market, especially with Turkey being a member of NATO. Saudi intent to buy S-400 was noted a month ago, with some news agencies reporting on it. 

Saudi Arabia agrees to buy Russian s-400 air defence system - Arabiya TV

Evidently, things are moving fairly fast now. It was, of course, expected by anyone with a modicum of common sense in military affairs that after Syria there will be a significant growth of interest in Russia's hi-end weaponry. Su-35 and Su-34 being the first candidates, but, evidently, S-400 provided a very strong impression in Syria and many now want it. Both Turkey and KSA, of course, want technology sharing. I can totally see Turks, if hypothetical sharing agreement will be reached (I simply don't know) being able to assemble S-400s for themselves. Saudis? I don't know. So, it remains to be seen how it all will play out, but there is no doubt that no matter how one spins that, we are observing a breakthrough. It is also becoming an obvious economic constant that Russian proverbial bang for a buck, or, in more economic language, the amount of combat capability a single dollar buys, is considerably higher than the same provided by the US military-industrial complex. It was always the case, it is just that since relatively recently this capability made it into the Western public domain without attached "comments" by people who have their own interests and agendas and thus act as salesmen, not serious analysts. These news embed itself quite well into the Saker's piece he published on UNZ and do signify a trend of which I write since the inception of this blog (in reality even earlier) that the US lost its ability to produce good weapons for an affordable price. 420+ million dollars for defenseless LCS or, God knows what money for a piece of... F-35 are not a good deals, in fact they are very bad deals since deliver a very "sophisticated" weapon which cannot perform properly. I am not into all this triumphalist boasting but even if to assume that there is some truth to the rumors of Israeli F-35 being shot at (forget for now being shot down) by the ancient Soviet S-200 Vega AD complex, implications are simply colossal and they are political. It will be rather interesting to observe this situation develop further in the Middle East.  

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