HomeNews

U.S. and Royal Saudi air forces collaborate to counter UAS threat

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off during a partner nation integration mission with the Royal Saudi Air Force at Prince Sultan Air base, June 17, 2021. U.S. Air Forces Central aircraft regularly work with coalition and partner nations to test their collective counter-UAS capabilities to ensure the security and stability of regional airspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Caleb Pavao)

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off during a partner nation integration mission with the Royal Saudi Air Force at Prince Sultan Air base, June 17, 2021. U.S. Air Forces Central aircraft regularly work with coalition and partner nations to test their collective counter-UAS capabilities to ensure the security and stability of regional airspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Caleb Pavao)

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons taxi in preparation for take-off during a partner nation integration mission with the Royal Saudi Air Force with the Royal Saudi Air Force at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, June 17, 2021. U.S. Air Forces Central aircraft regularly work with coalition and partner nations to test their collective counter-UAS capabilities to ensure the security and stability of regional airspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Caleb Pavao)

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons taxi in preparation for take-off during a partner nation integration mission with the Royal Saudi Air Force with the Royal Saudi Air Force at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, June 17, 2021. U.S. Air Forces Central aircraft regularly work with coalition and partner nations to test their collective counter-UAS capabilities to ensure the security and stability of regional airspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Caleb Pavao)

Two U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons taxi on a runway at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while preparing to take part in a counter unmanned aerial system integration mission with joint and Royal Saudi aircraft, June 30, 2021. U.S. Air Forces Central aircraft regularly work with coalition and partner nations to test their collective counter-UAS capabilities to ensure the security and stability of regional airspace.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sgt. Veronica Woodward)

Two U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons taxi on a runway at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while preparing to take part in a counter unmanned aerial system integration mission with joint and Royal Saudi aircraft, June 30, 2021. U.S. Air Forces Central aircraft regularly work with coalition and partner nations to test their collective counter-UAS capabilities to ensure the security and stability of regional airspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sgt. Veronica Woodward)

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off from a flightline at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to take part in a counter unmanned aerial system integration mission with joint and Royal Saudi aircraft, June 30, 2021. U.S. Air Forces Central aircraft regularly work with coalition and partner nations to test their collective counter-UAS capabilities to ensure the security and stability of regional airspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sgt. Veronica Woodward)

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off from a flightline at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to take part in a counter unmanned aerial system integration mission with joint and Royal Saudi aircraft, June 30, 2021. U.S. Air Forces Central aircraft regularly work with coalition and partner nations to test their collective counter-UAS capabilities to ensure the security and stability of regional airspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sgt. Veronica Woodward)

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar --

With the rise of unmanned aerial system attacks against U.S. forces and interests in the Middle East, the defense against UAS platforms has become a top priority within the U.S. Central Command theater of operations.

In response, U.S. Air Forces Central and partner nations have begun a series of integration missions that will continue through the summer of 2021.

On June 17 and 30, U.S. and Royal Saudi aircraft took to the skies to conduct a pair of operations testing their ability to collaboratively track and destroy a simulated invading UAS within regional airspace.

“The emerging UAS threat in the Middle East requires a wide spectrum of shared resources between the U.S. and our partners,” said Col. Matt Dietz, U.S. AFCENT Director of Operations. “We’re very fortunate that our Saudi Arabian allies have the same understanding and are willing to work so closely with us to combat the threat.”

U.S. AFCENT continuously works with partner nations to ensure the security and stability of regional airspace.