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Secretive Saudi rocket group tools up for potential nuclear role

The Saudi Strategic Rocket Force (SRF) may be engaged in research and development work to build its own solid-fuel rocket engines for medium-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), according to analysis by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. The Vermont, United States-based institute suggested that work had progressed to the point of static bench-testing at the SRF’s Base 544 at Al-Watah, 200km south-west of Riyadh. If accurate, this is a significant statement of Saudi ambition, given that ballistic missile engine design and manufacturing is generally acknowledged to be the most challenging aspect of deploying ICBMs.

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