Saudi Arabia has reportedly expressed interest in purchasing Israeli-made long-range Spike precision missiles as part of the Riyadh regime’s efforts to normalize relations with the Tel Aviv regime after years of clandestine contacts.
The London-based al-Araby al-Jadeed newspaper, citing a report published by Hebrew-language Israel Defense magazine, reported on Monday that the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, which is producing the military hardware, is therefore trying to obtain necessary permits from official authorities through its subsidiary in Europe, known as the Euro Spike, in order to export the missile.
The report went on to say that the supply of Spike missiles to Saudi Arabia would face objections inside the Israeli-occupied territories as Israel's so-called security ministry may not rubber-stamp the export for the fear that the munitions could be used against Israeli forces once Riyadh reverses its policies towards the Tel Aviv regime.
Al-Araby al-Jadeed noted that the Israeli ministry may allow Rafael to export the arms to Saudi Arabia, given the Spike missile’s life cycle that is estimated at approximately ten years – a period during which an armed confrontation between Riyadh and Tel Aviv is believed to be unlikely.
Saudi Arabia is seemingly trying to diversify the sources of its imported weapons and military equipment, and does not want to rely solely on the American BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile, which is currently produced by Raytheon, a major US military contractor and industrial corporation. The oil-rich kingdom has been importing the weapon since 2017.
Spike missiles, first released by Rafael in 2012, come in four variants: Spike NLOS, Spike ER, Spike MR/LR and Spike SR.
Spike SR is the smallest and lightest member of Rafael’s Spike missile family, and is being used by some member states of the US-led NATO.
According to Rafael, the entire Spike family is now operational in 34 countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea and India.
Back in September last year, Arabic-language al-Khaleej Online news website reported that Saudi Arabia had purchased the Iron Dome missile system from the Israeli regime.