Saudi Arabia: IADS Upgrade In The Offing

Thales is reportedly negotiating with Saudi Arabiato perform up to $3 billion (€2.2 billion) worth of modernisations for Saudi Arabia’s air defence network.

Known as ‘Peace Shield’, the system is the Kingdom’s Integrated Air Defence System (IADS) consists of a central Command Operations Centre, which links to five subordinate Sector Command Centres (SCCs). These SCCs are collocated with Sector Operations Centres. The Command Operations Centre is located atRiyadh, with the SCCs located at Dhahran (Persian Gulf Coast), Taif (Red SeaCoast), Tabuk (North Western Saudi Arabia), Khamis Mushait (South Western Saudi Arabia) and Al Kharj (Central Saudi Arabia). Surveillance is provided by 17 Lockheed Martin AN/FPS-117 three-dimensional 400km range radar, plus six AN/TPS-43 450km range systems. Peace Shield can also handle data transmitted from the Royal Saudi Air Force’s five Boeing E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.

Radar, voice and data traffic is distributed using fibre-optics, high-frequency radio, microwave line-of-sight and a mobile telephone network.

Peace Shield can be used for the command and control of the Royal Saudi Air Defence Force’s MIM-23 I-Hawk medium-range Surface-to-Air Missiles, its Crotale mobile short-range SAMs, and its eight MIM-104 Patriot SAM units.

There are no details regarding the scope of the potential Peace Shield upgrade however, given the anticipated value of the work, it is possible that the project could see an overarching modernisation. This could include an enhancement of the IADS’ command and control systems, its communications links or even the supply of new radar.

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