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Saudi Arabia announces UAV procurement
28 April 2020

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The Karayel UAV on display at the 2019 Dubai Airshow. Source: Jane’s/Charles Forrester

Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) announced on 27 April that the country was procuring six unmanned systems from local firm Intra Defence Technologies for delivery in 2021, and a further 40 systems within five years.

The type of UAV was not disclosed in the Tweet from the organisation's official account, but Intra advertises the Karayel tactical UAV, developed by Turkey's Vestel, and the Asef VTOL UAV, which was launched at the Dubai Airshow in 2019. Jane's notes that a Karayel was lost over Yemen's Al-Hudaydah in late December after being shot down by a surface-to-air missile near the port of Al-Salif.

The Karayel has an endurance of 20 hours at 18,000 ft (5,486 m) and a cruise speed of 60-80 kt. Maximum payloads for the platform are 70 kg under the fuselage and 60 kg per wing across a total of four hardpoints. The platform's datalink range is 200 km from the GCS. The platform shown at the Dubai Airshow was armed with Roketsan MAM-L and MAM-C munitions.

The platform was also shown with a Hensoldt Argos II EO/IR pod to provide day-and-night surveillance capabilities. Intra signed an agreement with Hensoldt South Africa's Optronics division to develop an electro-optical payload for UAVs in Saudi Arabia ahead of the 2019 Dubai Airshow as part of efforts to improve self-sufficiency in the unmanned aerial vehicle domain.

Intra representatives told Jane's at the Dubai Airshow last year that the company was primarily orienting its marketing efforts for the Karayel towards the Saudi military, and potentially exporting the platform to Brazil and Kuwait.

GAMI, which was announced in 2017 and formally convened in 2019, has roles ranging from the management of procurement for the Saudi military to the supervision of defence-industrial research and development (R&D) and the transfer of technology to Saudi industry.
 

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Here is my favorite.^^0^^

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UK to resume defence exports to Saudi Arabia

The UK is set to begin processing licences for the export of defence equipment to Saudi Arabia that could potentially be used in Yemen again, according to a written answer provided to parliament by the Secretary of State for International Trade, Elizabeth Truss, on 7 July.

In June 2019 the UK Court of Appeal ruled that arms exports to Saudi Arabia were unlawful as UK authorities had made “no assessments of whether the Saudi-led coalition had committed violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) in the past, during the Yemen conflict, and made no attempt to do so.”

In response, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has “developed a revised methodology in respect of all allegations which it is assessed are likely to have occurred and to have been caused by fixed-wing aircraft.”

Each of the allegations raised by the Court of Appeal were subsequently evaluated based on the revised IHL principles, and an undisclosed number of incidents were assessed as “possible” violations of IHL. Further to the analysis of these incidents, the DIT sought to “identify any patterns of non-compliance with IHL; a lack of commitment on the part of Saudi Arabia to comply with IHL; and/or a lack of capacity or systemic weaknesses which might give rise to a clear risk of IHL breaches.”
 

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This photo was taken during raid on several Yemeni islands, Hanish Islands and Jabal Zuqar island. Saudi forces took control over the islands and have established small military check points logistically supported by the Royal Saudi Navy



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