How Losses Of Its Exported Air Defense Missiles In Combat Could Undermine Future Russian Arms Sales

October 14, 2020



Russia likes to market its S-300 and S-400 air defense missiles to potential buyers by claiming they are superior and more cost-effective than their Western counterparts. Consequently, Moscow fears any scenario in which those weapons systems exhibit shortcomings or suffer any losses in combat.

On Sept. 14, 2019, loitering munitions, also known as ‘suicide’ or ‘kamikaze’ drones, most likely launched by Iran, attacked Saudi state-owned Aramco oil facilities in the oil-rich kingdom’s east. Riyadh’s modern U.S.-built air defenses failed to stop, and possibly even detect, them. As a result of the attack, the Saudis had to close those facilities for repairs, and the kingdom’s oil production was briefly reduced by around half as a result…


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