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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Russia in talks to produce AK assault rifles in Saudi Arabia

Iran Press TV

Wed Aug 28, 2019 06:38PM

Russia is planning to sign an agreement with Saudi Arabia to mass produce AK-103 automatic rifles in the kingdom, a top Russian military official has confirmed.

Dmitry Shugaev, head of the Federal Service of Military-Technical Cooperation, made the announcement on the sidelines of the MAKS 2019 international air show in Russia's Zhukovsky.

He told reporters on Wednesday that Russia was already delivering the assault rifles that Saudi Arabia has purchased in previous contracts and said he was looking forward to begin the construction work for a production facility inside the kingdom as well.

The contract is part of a deal the two sides signed two years ago as part of the Riyadh regime's efforts to purchase and domestic-produce weapons and reduce the kingdom's heavy reliance on foreign arms deals.

Russia and Saudi Arabia are also reportedly discussing a possible sale of the advanced S-400 Russian air defense system, a deal that is likely to raise eyebrows in Washington if finalized.

Saudi Arabia currently relies on mostly American weapons. In 2017 alone, the kingdom welcomed US President Donald Trump on his maiden visit by signing a whopping $110 billion arms deal with his administration.

Putin will visit Saudi Arabia, a traditional US ally in the Middle East, in October this year, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said in June.

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