Edge in e-warfare gives lead on adversaries: Saudi top brass

KACST President Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed Al-Saud takes a tour of the exhibition following the inauguration of the Fifth Electronic Warfare Conference in Riyadh on Tuesday. (AN photo)
Updated 13 December 2017
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Edge in e-warfare gives lead on adversaries: Saudi top brass

RIYADH: Experts discussed the latest trends in electronic warfare and ways to counter those threats at the Fifth Electronic Warfare Conference at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in Riyadh on Tuesday.
The two-day conference, jointly organized by the KACST and the Ministry of Defense, was inaugurated by KACST President Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed Al-Saudi. The inaugural ceremony was attended by the head of the general staff, Gen. Abdul Rahman Al-Bunyan, and other prominent civilian and security officials.
Air Marshal Philip Sturley, a former senior commander in the Royal Air Force, chaired the first session of the event.
He said Saudi Arabia has a proud history in electronic warfare and radar technology.
Sturley said that it is important to localize the capabilities and human resources to keep up the pace with the advancements in the field of electronic warfare. In this regard, he added, Saudi Arabia is taking all necessary measures.
Sturley, who has held a wide range of staff posts including joint combined and NATO appointments, said that developing indigenous capabilities with foreign expertise will go a long way in achieving the Kingdom’s targets as set in the Vision 2030 plan.
The KACST president pointed out that rapid technological advances in protecting military systems, communications and information led to the emergence of extraordinary threats to radar and electronic warfare systems. In this context, he said the conference is being held to enable professionals to learn about the latest developments in this field.
Following the inauguration of the conference, Prince Dr. Turki also opened an exhibition to showcase the features and products of electronic warfare.
He said that at the exhibition, visitors witnessed the inauguration of the Saudi Defense Electronics Co. (SADEC), which was established in accordance with the agreement signed in 2015 between the Defense and Security Technology (DST), subsidiary of the Saudi Technology Development and Investment Co. (TAQNIA), which is owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Turkish company Aselsan.
Gen. Al-Bunyan said that the ever-increasing use of electronic warfare in contemporary warfare is a strong indicator of the important role it will play in any future conflict.
“Possessing advanced technologies in the field of e-war deliver advantages and lead on adversaries,” he said.
Dr. Sultan Almorqi, director of the National Center for Sensors and Defense Systems Technologies, said the conference will run on two themes: The first deals with future trends in electronic warfare and radar technology, while the second one is about current military and civilian operations and application of electronic warfare and radar technology.


World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Alkhobar city in eastern Saudi Arabia on her way to Bahrain on June 24, 2018. (AFP / HUSSAIN RADWAN)
Updated 25 June 2018
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World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

  • As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips
  • The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet 

JEDDAH: The world awoke on Sunday to images and video footage many thought they would never see — newly empowered Saudi women taking the wheel and driving their cars.

As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-time drivers.

The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet.

“I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and the spirit to dream,” she said.

In a tribute to Saudi female drivers, the Lebanese soprano Hiba Tawaji released a special video of a song she performed live in Riyadh at a concert last December “Today women in Saudi Arabia can legally drive their cars,” she said. “Congratulations on this achievement, this one’s for you!”

Back home in Saudi Arabia, the atmosphere was euphoric. “It’s a beautiful day,” businesswoman Samah Algosaibi said as she cruised around the city of Alkhobar. 

“Today we are here,” she said from the driver’s seat. “Yesterday we sat there,” she said, pointing to the back.

“I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated,” said Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena, one of the first women to drive in the Kingdom.

She told Arab News that the event was changing her life by “facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free.”

Almaeena urged all drivers to follow the traffic and road safety rules. “What’s making me anxious is the misconduct of a lot of the drivers, the male drivers. Unfortunately they’re not as disciplined as they should be. Simple things such as changing lanes and using your signals — this is making me anxious.

“But I’m confident: I’ve driven all around the world when I travel, especially when I’m familiar with the area. It’s really mainly how to be a defensive driver because you have to be.”