Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad and defence policy

Saudi Crown Prince Mohmmad Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz continues defence projects as planned with a new view to having a Saudi plant for some parts of the Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft.

This comes as Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson is said to be considering a project by the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) to finance a new production line in the Kingdom for a version of the F-16 fighter jet.

Lockheed Martin is already in JV agreement with Saudi technology company Taqnia to assemble 150 Black Hawk helicopters in the Kingdom. Despite that, the Saudi Defence Ministry intends to continue purchasing multi-role helicopters for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) and the Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF) until year 2024.

Meanwhile, the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) seems to be in need of more cruisers to escort oil tankers in and outside the Gulf waters. This comes as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz is preparing to lead a regional naval coalition to supervise oil shipping routes in the Strait of Hormuz.

Qatari Emir Tamim is said to have rejected a proposal from Crown Prince Mohammad in this regard. He rejected it on the grounds that the Qatar Navy is doing its job in the best way without having any single problem with the IRGC Navy.

The IRGC is said to have decided new rules in the Strait of Hormuz. The new rules suggest that no foreign warship or commercial ship will enter or exit the Strait of Hormuz without coordinating with it.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo does not agree that the IRGC can apply new rules in the Strait of Hormuz, arguing that the United States will not consent to any IRGC efforts to control the entrance and exit through the Strait of Hormuz.

Omani Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Yusuf Bin Alawi is trying to arrange a meeting in Muscat between diplomats from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iran to discuss the US-Iran situation.

He has already talked about it to Abu Dhabi and Teheran and has yet to communicate with the Saudi Royal Court.

UAE keeps extending a branch of olive to Iran. Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is adopting a new policy with Iran entitled: “Border Security Diplomacy”.

As for Saudi Arabia, there is no intention to clash with Iran. Former Saudi Interior Prince Ahmad considers a war with Iran to be a disaster for the Kingdom.

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