Saudi Aramco has already received bids from the likes of Raytheon, Rheinmetall and General Dynamics for defense systems, and would award the contracts later this year, Reuters reported on July 24, 2017, citing unnamed sources.
Saudi Arabia last month reportedly thwarted what appeared to be an attack on an offshore oilfield in the country’s territorial waters.
The country’s government-run press agency said in June the Saudi naval forces had thwarted an attack on its offshore platforms in the Marjan field.
The press agency said that on Friday, 3 small boats, bearing red and white flags, had entered the Saudi territorial waters in the Arabian Gulf, heading at speed towards platforms of Saudi oil field of Marjan.
It then cited the an unnamed official who said: «Immediately, the Saudi naval forces fired warning shots, but the boats did not respond. Consequently, one of the boats was captured which was loaded with weapons for subversive purpose, while the other 2 escaped. Saudi Arabia stresses its determination to combat and eradicate terrorism and its sources, as a part of the country’s permanent objective to protect its national security against any external aggression.»
According to reports that followed, the Saudis claimed that the alleged assailants aboard the 3 vessels were Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps aiming to attack offshore installations.
Iran has denied the accusations, saying there were no Iranian security forces in the area, and accusing the Saudi side of opening fire on Iranian fishermen.