Saudi Arabia’s Navy Unprepared for Asymmetric Threats

The Royal Saudi Navy frigate Al Dammam maneuvers into position, with a AS565 SA Dauphin helicopter circling overhead, during exercise "Eager Lion 2014," Gulf of Aden, May 28, 2014 (U.S. Navy photo).
The Royal Saudi Navy frigate Al Dammam maneuvers into position, with a AS565 SA Dauphin helicopter circling overhead, during exercise "Eager Lion 2014," Gulf of Aden, May 28, 2014 (U.S. Navy photo).
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A temporary truce between Houthi rebels in Yemen and the Saudi-led coalition against them, designed to allow humanitarian aid past Saudi Arabia’s naval blockade, was broken within hours earlier this month. In an email interview, Anthony Cordesman, the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, discussed Saudi Arabia’s naval capabilities. WPR: What are Saudi Arabia’s naval capabilities in terms of its fleet, its priorities and its operational readiness? Anthony Cordesman: The Saudi navy is the largest of the Gulf Arab states with up to 15,000 men and 3,000 marines. It has three destroyers, […]

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