US, SA to conduct first counter-drone exercise without allies

TEHRAN, Mar. 06 (MNA) – The US and Saudi Arabia are planning to kick off their first-ever experimental counter-drone exercise in the last week of March, media reported on Monday.

The first “Red Sands” exercise will involve the US and Saudi-owned air defense systems, but will not include other regional militaries, according to four US military officials briefed on the matter, Al-Monitor reported.

American officials say they intend to include counterparts from additional Middle Eastern militaries in subsequent Red Sands events in the coming months, all of which are expected to be held in Saudi Arabia. 

Saudi Arabia was selected to host Red Sands in part because of the country’s vast expanses of the open desert away from population centers, where the US and regional militaries can experiment with directed energy weapons for air defense purposes, according to a US military official.

MP/PR

News Code 198164

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