Saudi Arabia is buying an armed drone from South Africa after the Obama administration declined to sell the oil-rich kingdom U.S. Predator or Reaper missile-firing unmanned aircraft.
The state-owned South African company Denel Dynamics is working covertly with the Saudis to develop the Seeker 400 drone into an armed combat system for the Saudi military, the Paris-based newsletter Intelligence Online reported March 27.
The Seeker 400 is an advanced version of the company’s Seeker II unarmed surveillance aircraft.
The new drone will be equipped with South Africa’s Mokopa air-to-ground missiles that are currently deployed on Algerian helicopters. The drone also can be outfitted with Impi laser-guided missiles with a range of 10 kilometers.
According to the newsletter, the Saudis have sought armed drones for several years and want the weapons to counter Iran’s unmanned combat vehicles known as the Karrar and the Shahed 129, which are fitted with Shahid-1 missiles.
“Because it could not procure drones from China, which is allied to Iran, nor from Israel, Riyadh turned to South Africa,” the newsletter stated.
Full article: Armed and Dangerous — Saudi Arabia buying South African armed drone (Washington Free Beacon)