U.S. deploys Patriot and THAAD air defense systems to Saudi Arabia

The U.S. is shipping more air defense systems to Saudi Arabia in response to the devastating Sept. 14 drone and cruise missile attack on Aramco’s oil facility.

U.S. deploys Patriot and THAAD air defense systems to Saudi Arabia
Patriot air defense missile launcher (Picture source: U.S. Army)

A battery of Patriot missile launchers, 200 more troops, and four 360-degree Sentinel radars are expected to enhance potential targets but existing US systems are not designed to stop drone and missile swarm attacks. Hence, in a statement, Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said the deployment “will augment the kingdom’s air and missile defense of critical military and civilian infrastructure.” He didn’t dare guarantee totally efficient protection. Any comparison with the Israeli "Iron Dome" system?

The Patriot battery and radar systems are designed to provide increased surveillance across Saudi Arabia's north. The country has largely focused its defenses to the south in order to protect the country from attacks by Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen. The US will also put two more Patriot batteries along with a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) on standby for rapid deployment.

A U.S. official said the attack originated in "southwest Iran" and that the U.S. has more proof "than just debris" to back up this claim, although no evidence has been released by the U.S. to date.