DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabian Military Industries is working on a new national counter-drone system to address asymmetric threats to the country and protect critical infrastructure and domestic military bases.

The new system, under development with international partners, is in the testing stage and is expected to be rolled out in the near term, SAMI CEO Andreas Schwer told Defense News.

“This system will have the ‘soft kill’ option and various types of ‘hard kill’ options to counter all types of drones from very small ones — the kind of Phantom IV type of threats — up to the professional militarized threats. Moreover, the system includes radars, command-and-control stations, and advanced networking capability,” Schwer said.

On Sept. 14, drone swarms and low-altitude cruise missiles attacked Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities. The installed air defense systems were unable to stop the assault.

Schwer explained that the new system is based on a modular concept and can be deployed as a stationery platform or as a mobile one. “We are testing the effectiveness to tailor the solution for the various applications because it makes a difference whether you put it on the borderline, civil airport, mosques or football stadium in the middle of the town, or a military site outside,” the executive explained.

Schwer confirmed the system will be available for export.

Agnes Helou was a Middle East correspondent for Defense News. Her interests include missile defense, cybersecurity, the interoperability of weapons systems and strategic issues in the Middle East and Gulf region.

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