Saudi Arabia's oil production hit hard by drone, missile strikes.

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Recent attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields will shunt the global market for perimeter security equipment like radar and drone detection to $US2 billion by 2023, up from $1.3 billion in 2018, according to IHS Markit.

The assault on the world’s largest oil-processing plant in Saudi Arabia, among other recent attacks on critical infrastructure facilities, will help drive a more than $700 million increase in global demand for perimeter security equipment, such as counter-unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS), according to IHS Markit.

It’s claimed that 25 drones and missiles were used in the attack, which forced the Saudis to shut down half of the country’s oil production and pushed global oil prices up by 15 per cent.

“Organizations like airports, sports stadia and critical infrastructure facilities are all concerned about detecting potential intrusions beyond their perimeters,” says Oliver Philippou, research manager, security technologies, at IHS Markit.

“However, amid recent events, these concerns have now expanded into protecting the local airspace from drone attacks. Perimeter security systems that take a layered approach, including thermal, sensors, ground-based radar, and drone detection technology, are a vital tool for detecting and preventing intruders.”

Layered perimeter security solutions are particularly useful for countering drone threats, providing multiple means of detecting a potentially hostile flying object. These threats have been at the forefront of security professionals’ minds recently, given the Saudi attack and other incidents such as the events at Dubai Airport in the UAE and at Gatwick Airport in the United Kingdom in 2018.

“The recent drone events at the Gatwick and Dubai airports were minor, causing delays lasting a few days at those specific facilities, with no human casualties and no lasting implications for the airports,” Philippou says. “However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that the security industry is an event-driven market — and incidents like this can have an enormous impact on market spending and technology trends.”

Amid the rising drone threat, defense, security and video-surveillance companies have struck partnerships with counter-UAS companies, including Dedrone, DroneShield and Black Sage Technologies. IHS Markit expects more of these partnerships to occur during the forecast period.

“An effective perimeter security system that ignores the potential threat of nefarious drones is missing more than half of the equation,” Philippou said. “Drones are here to stay and will only expand their role in our daily lives as they start delivering our packages or become our mode of transportation. Knowing where they are will be essential for safely coexisting in the future.”

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