New Defense market report from Business Monitor International: "Saudi Arabia Defence & Security Report Q1 2013"
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/28/2013 -- BMI's Saudi Arabia Defence and Security Report for Q1 2013 examines the country's strategic position in the Middle East and the wider world. It provides an overview of the contemporary geopolitical challenges facing the country, and the challenges it may face in the future, especially in the context of the ongoing Arab Spring.
In addition, the report examines the trends witnessed in the country's current and future defence procurement, and the order of battle across its armed forces. The report's general conclusion is that Saudi Arabia will continue to invest heavily in defence procurement, giving it military superiority over most of its neighbours in what will remain a volatile region. However, the country's long-term security outlook is less certain. The authoritarian royal family is ageing. Unrest in the country's Shi'a-dominated Eastern Province remains serious. And regional crises could affect Saudi Arabia in unknown ways.
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These foreign crises are numerous from Riyadh's perspective. Sectarian violence and al-Qaeda continue to plague Yemen to the south. War between Israel and Iran - Saudi Arabia's regional foe - could have grave repercussions for Riyadh if Iran successfully foments rebellion among Shi'a Muslims in Eastern Province and also Bahrain. Security crises in Iraq and Syria also threaten to upset the regional balance. However, Saudi Arabia is attempting to engage with other countries in the region, including Iran, in order to reduce the risk of serious instability. In particular, Riyadh has reached out to Tehran by inviting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit Mecca; the two countries are also members of a new Syria Contact Group set up by the Egyptian government.
However, despite these and other worthy initiatives, there is relatively little that Riyadh can do to address many of the most pressing security challenges that it has to deal with.
Over the last quarter BMI has revised the following forecasts/views:
- Procurement activity dropped off in Q3 following a string of huge defence acquisitions earlier in the year. The one major procurement came in the form of a U$257mn request for ISR suites for use with the Kingdom's surveillance aircraft; the procurement of more King Air 350ERs could also follow.
- The uncovering of a terrorist plot to set off bombs in Riyadh and Jeddah in September 2012 is discussed. The most serious al-Qaeda operation in the Kingdom in some time, the plot involved two Saudis and six Yemenis - evidence both of homegrown terrorists and also the threat of al- Qaeda cells based in Yemen.
- The latest unrest in Eastern Province is discussed. Two Shi'a were killed in September during an arrest operation by the security forces, following protests.
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