First stage of Saudi drone factory complete: KACST

A prototype of the drone that will be manufactured at the factory.
Updated 17 June 2017
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First stage of Saudi drone factory complete: KACST

JEDDAH: The King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) has announced that the first stage of a drone factory in Riyadh is almost complete.
KACST’s Supervisor General of Special Programs Khaled Al-Hussan, who is overseeing the Saudi drone project, said that the factory is projected to manufacture drones suitable for military and civil purposes, scientific research, urban planning and security.
One of the drones that will be manufactured at the facility is the Saqr 1 drone which is made of carbon and glass fiber and is equipped with a satellite communications system. The drone can fly within a range of 2,500 km for 24 to 48 hours.
When it comes to who will use the drones, Al-Hussan told Arab News that “Taqnia Aeronautics is the party concerned with marketing and determining the market demand for the projected drones.”
KACST has also produced another three drones of medium size — the Saqr 2, 3 and 4. The units were first developed in 2012 with a total of 38 built as of August 2014.
Saqr 2 can fly for eight-hours at a speed of 120 km per hour at an altitude of 5,000 meters while the Saqr 4 is capable of carrying a load of up to 5 kg.
The Saqr 4 can reach a maximum speed of 120 kph at an altitude of 5,000 meters and can fly for five to six hours.
All the models are equipped with cameras for aerial photography.


Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

Updated 17 January 2019
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Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

JEDDAH: The Joint Incident Assessment Team in Yemen (JIAT) has investigated four allegations made by international governmental and non-governmental organizations and media about mistakes made by coalition forces while carrying out military operations inside Yemen.
JIAT spokesman Mansour Al-Mansour said that the team concluded that the procedures followed by the coalition forces were proper and safe, taking into consideration the rules of engagement, international humanitarian law and the coalition’s own rules.
Team members visited a number of cities in Yemen, including Aden, Lahj and Khor Maksar, during the investigation and spoke to witnesses, victims and their families to gather evidence and establish the facts.
In one of the incidents that was investigated, coalition warship fired on and destroyed a craft in the waters off the Yemeni port of Al-Khokha in September. Al-Mansour said that after examining documents and evidence JIAT had concluded that an alliance ship was escorting and protecting a flotilla of three Saudi merchant ships when, in an area off the port of Al-Khokha, a boat was spotted approaching the convoy at a high speed from the direction of the Yemeni coast.
The escort ship followed the accepted rules of engagement by repeatedly warning the unidentified vessel, using loudspeakers, not to come any closer. When these went unheeded, warning shots were fired but the boat continued to approach.
“On reaching an area that represented a threat to the convoy, the protection ship tackled the boat according to the rules of engagement and targeted it, resulting in an explosion on the boat,” said Al-Mansour. “The protection ship continued escorting the convoy. After the escort task was completed, the protection ship returned to the site of the targeted boat to carry out a search-and-rescue operation for the crew of the target boat but no one was found.”