A pair of images emerged on social media on April 9, 2019, appearing to show the TOS-1A MLRS in Saudi Arabia, after a delivery to the kingdom.
A source in the Russian defense industry, speaking to Sputnik International, confirmed the delivery, saying, “The exports of TOS-1A Solntsepek to Saudi Arabia have been started. The first batch of the system has already been delivered to the kingdom.”
Further details, such as the number of systems on order or the number delivered in the first batch, were not provided. The financial value of the contract has not been disclosed.
Saudi Arabia has received first delivery of Russian TOS-1A "Solntsepyok" thermobaric MLRS, as agreed during King Salman's 2017 visit to Moscow. pic.twitter.com/TZq2mZZBAF— Military Advisor (@miladvisor) April 10, 2019
In October 2017, Saudi Arabia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Russia on acquiring a range of Russian military equipment, including the TOS-1A. Other systems that Riyadh may acquire are the Kornet-EM anti-tank missile and AGS-30 grenade launcher. Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) additionally inked documents with Rosoboronexport on the potential local manufacture of the hardware.
SAMI said at that time, “With the guidance of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, the two parties signed these agreements, which are expected to play a pivotal role in the growth and development of the military and military systems industry in Saudi Arabia.”