Air defense systems of US manufacture failed to repel last week’s attack by drones in Saudi Arabia because they fall short of the declared parameters, a senior source at the Russian Defense Ministry told the media on Thursday.
Saudi Arabia’s northern border is protected by 88 systems Patriot: 36 PAC-2 and 52 newer PAC-3. In the Persian Gulf, near Saudi Arabia’s shores, the source said, there are three US destroyers armed with the air defense system Aegis and 100 missiles SM-2, TASS reports.
"The question arises how come such a strong air defense let through dozens of drones and cruise missiles? There can be only one reason for this: the much-advertised US systems Patriot and Aegis fall short of the officially declared parameters. Their effectiveness against small air targets and cruise missiles is low," the source said. He added that "they are unprepared for repelling the enemy’s massive air attacks in real combat situations."
He added that US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s excuses "even the best air defenses sometimes fail," might be accepted only if a single Patriot system protecting an attacked facility was involved.
Attack and its effects
Ten drones in the early hours of September 14 struck oil facilities of the Saudi Aramco company in the east of the country, including the world’s largest oil processing facility near Abqaiq and an oil refinery in Hurais, the country’s second largest oil field. The strikes caused fire at 13 facilities.