|The missile has a range of between 1000 to 1700 mile, and is believed to have a top speed around mach 5.|
In January 2014, Newsweek revealed that Saudi Arabia had secretly bought a number of DF-21 medium-range ballistic missiles in 2007. But the question is that "how much they bought from China?" They also said that the American CIA had allowed the deal to go through as long as the missiles were modified to not be able to carry nuclear warheads.
Saudi Arabia had previously secretly acquired Chinese DF-3A ballistic missiles in 1988, which was later exposed by the United States. While the DF-3 has a longer range, it was designed to carry a nuclear payload, and so had poor accuracy (300 meters CEP) if used with a conventional warhead. It would only be useful against large area targets like cities and military bases.
|Here is Maj. Gen. Jarallah bin Mohammed Al-Alwit, the current commander of the Saudi Strategic Missile Force, giving a commencement address.|
This made them useless during the Gulf War for retaliating against Iraqi Scud missile attacks, as they would cause mass civilian casualties and would not be as effective as the ongoing coalition air attacks. After the war, the Saudis and the CIA worked together to covertly allow the purchase of Chinese DF-21s.
|Targets for Saudi DF-21 Missiles.|
The DF-21 is solid-fueled instead of liquid-fueled like the DF-3, so it takes less time to prepare for launch. It is accurate to 30 meters CEP, allowing it to attack specific targets like compounds or palaces.
The Saudis are not known to possess mobile launchers, but may use the some 12 launchers originally bought with the DF-3s. The number of DF-21 missiles that were bought is unknown. Newsweek speculates that details of the deal being made public is part of Saudi deterrence against Iran.