Mark Esper has authorized the deployment of two fighter squadrons, an air expeditionary wing, two Patriot batteries and a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) to Saudi territory. Although not officially announced, it is expected the fighter squadrons will be F-15s.
[July 26 2019 THAAD – Terminal High Altitude Area Defense ]
Three other military units — two additional Patriot batteries and one Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system’s operators and maintainers — have been put on “prepare to deploy” orders. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, formerly Theater High Altitude Area Defense, is an American anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to shoot down short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase by intercepting with a hit-to-kill approach.
[July 26 2019 Patriots and F-22 ]
The US Army has deployed a Patriot air defence battery to Prince Sultan Air Base (PSAB) in central Saudi Arabia as it increases its military presence in the region to counter Iran.
Two launchers with what appeared to be a mix of PAC-3 and longer-range PAC-3 MSE missiles were seen in CBS News coverage of a visit by US Central Command (CENTCOM) commander Kenneth McKenzie to PSAB on 21 July.
A launcher was also seen at PSAB in a video that US Air Force Central Command (USAFCENT) released via its Facebook page and subsequently removed.
CBS reported that a squadron of F-22 Raptor fighters would be deployed to the base.