US, Saudi Arabia Tested ‘Stinger Missiles’ in Counter-UAS Exercise
The US and Saudi Arabia can tackle the most challenging military problems and realize solutions to emergent threats more rapidly, says the US Central Command. Both countries concluded the second iteration of a counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) military exercise in the region. About 150 members from the armies of the respective countries participated.
Saudi Arabia and the US have agreed to conduct two similar exercises every year. The US Central Command (CENTCOM) said future iterations of Red Sands exercises will build on successes and knowledge gained during the recent drill by the US and Saudi Armed Forces.
They will work together to solve challenging military problems. Col. Robert McVey said interoperability between the US and Saudi militaries was a key goal.
The Biggest Counter-UAS Exercise
This exercise is touted as the biggest and most complex Counter-UAS exercise conducted in the Middle East. CENTCOM said they prioritized countering drones and other unmanned aerial systems, as this is one of the biggest threats to countries in the Middle East.
It included training, operational demonstrations, and testing of nine systems employing various kinetic and non-kinetic techniques to destroy, or disable UAS. CENTCOM explained that exercises like this allow them to tackle the most challenging military problems, and realize solutions to emergent threats more rapidly than traditional development.
Both countries recognize the fact that the UAS threat is real. As such, the US and Saudi demonstrate a shared commitment to regional security. McVey said the goal of the exercise was to strengthen military relations between the two countries, test cutting-edge technologies, and develop procedures to defeat UAS threats.
What Are Stinger Missiles
The US and Saudi troops shot down aerial drones in the drill, tested nine systems, including Stinger missiles. This is a light weight, self-contained air defense system that can be easily developed by ground troops. It has more than 270 fixed and rotary-wing intercepts.
Stinger missiles have been deployed in 19 countries with US assistance. This system is said to have more than 90 percent success rate in reliability and training tests. Stinger missiles boast supersonic speed, agility and a highly accurate guidance and control system. This gives the weapon an operational edge against cruise missiles. It can take down low-flying airplanes and helicopters.