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Saudi Arabian Army
الجيش العربي السعودي
Chief of General Staff flag of the Saudi Armed Forces.svg
RSA flag
Founded 1917
Country Saudi Arabia
Allegiance Saudi Arabia
Branch Army
Type Land Force
Role Land warfare
Size 150,000[1]
Part of Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia
Nickname(s) RSLF
Motto(s) 'God is the greatest'
Commanders
Chief of Army Staff General Eid bin Awad Al-Shalawi

A column of M-113 APCs and other military vehicles of the Royal Saudi Land Force travels along a channel cleared of mines during Operation Desert Storm., Kuwait - 1 March 1991.

The 20th Brigade of the Royal Saudi Land Force displays a 155 mm (6 in) GCT self-propelled gun, left, and AMX-10P infantry combat vehicles

A Saudi M60A3 tank being transferred

Saudi Arabian army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter during Operation Desert Shield.

A Saudi Arabian (HMMWV) with a QCB machine gun mounted on top depart for the seaport of Mogadishu in Somalia

The Saudi Arabian Army (Arabic language: الجيش العربي السعودي‎), also called Royal Saudi Land Force (Arabic language: القوات البرية الملكية السعودية‎), is a branch of the Saudi Armed Forces. The total number of active troops is estimated to be 150,000[1] The Chief of the Saudi General Staff until 2011 was Field Marshal Saleh Al-Muhaya.

History[]

1923 is considered to be the birth year of the Saudi Army, as the modern Saudi Arabia have been Unified and founded as a single state. After the discovery of oil and the meeting between King Abdulaziz and the American President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 14, 1945, the Americans became the new major ally of Saudi Arabia.

Other events that led to an expansion of the Saudi Army were the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948, the fall of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and the subsequent fears of possible Shia's actions and in the last years the first Gulf War in 1990. In the year 2000, Saudi Arabia's government spent billions of dollars to expand the Saudi Forces including the Saudi Army.[citation needed]

Wars involving Saudi Army:

  • The Unification of Saudi Arabia (1902–1933).
  • 1948 Arab-Israeli War more than 3,000 Saudi Troops participated in combat against Israel.[citation needed]
  • 1967 RSLF deployed over 20,000 troops in Jordan.
  • 1969 Al-Wadiah War. South Yemeni Forces invaded Al-Wadiah, a Saudi Town, but later were defeated by the Saudi Army.[citation needed]
  • 1973 during the Yom Kippur War Saudi Arabia, along with other Gulf nations, protested American intervention by raising oil prices and sent over 3,000 Saudi soldiers from the troops stationed in Jordan to fight on the Syrian frontline.
  • Gulf War (1990–1991) Together with the allied forces, Saudi Armed Forces and SANG took a major part in the Battle of Khafji and the Liberation of Kuwait.
  • 2007-2010 Houthi Insurgency. Yemeni Houthis invaded southern Saudi Arabia, taking several mountains but were defeated later by the Saudi army.
File:Saudi Army in Jizan.jpg

Saudi Army in Jizan, November 2009

Structure[]

US Marines Training for Saudi Arabian Army

The combat strength of the Saudi Army consists of 3 armoured brigades, 5 mechanized infantry brigades, three light motorized rifle brigades, and one airborne brigade. It also has five independent artillery battalions and an aviation command. The Saudi Army deployed the 12th Armoured Brigade and 6th Mechanized Brigade at King Faisal Military City in the Tabuk area. It deployed the 4th Armoured Brigade, and 11th Mechanized Brigade at King Abdul Aziz Military City in the Khamis Mushayt area. It deployed the 20th Mechanized Brigade and 8th Mechanized Brigade at King Khalid Military City near Hafr al Batin. The 10th Mechanized Brigade is deployed at Sharawrah, which is near the border with Yemen and about 150 kilometers from Zamak.[2]

Despite the addition of a number of units and increased mobility achieved during the 1970s and 1980s, the army's personnel complement has expanded only moderately since a major buildup was launched in the late 1960s. The army has been chronically understrength, in the case of some units by an estimated 30 to 50 percent. These shortages have been aggravated by a relaxed policy that permitted considerable absenteeism and by a serious problem of retaining experienced technicians and noncommissioned officers (NCOs). The continued existence of a separate national guard also limited the pool of potential army recruits.[2]

Armor

  • 4th (King Fah’d) Armoured Brigade
  • 8th Armoured Brigade
  • 12th Armoured Brigade

A typical Saudi armoured brigade has an armoured reconnaissance company, three tank battalions with 42 tanks each, a mechanized infantry battalion with 54 AIFVs/APCs, and an artillery battalion with 18 self-propelled guns. It also has an army aviation company, an engineer company, a logistic battalion, a field workshop, and a medical company.[3]

Mechanized

  • 6th Mechanized Brigade
  • 8th Mechanized Brigade
  • 10th Mechanized Brigade
  • 11th Mechanized Brigade
  • 20th Mechanized Brigade

The five mechanized brigades consists of one tank battalion, three mechanized infantry battalions, an artillery battalion, and a support battalion.

A typical Saudi mechanized brigade has an armoured reconnaissance company, one tank battalion with 42 tanks, three mechanized infantry battalions with 54 AIFVs/APCs each, and an artillery battalion with 18 self-propelled guns. It also has an army aviation company, an engineer company, a logistic battalion, a field workshop, and a medical company. It has 24 anti-tank guided weapons launchers and four mortar sections with a total of eight 81 mm (3 in) mortars.[3]

Infantry

  • 17th Light motorized infantry brigade
  • 18th Light motorized infantry brigade
  • 19th Light motorized infantry brigade

Each infantry brigade consists of three motorized battalions, an artillery battalion, and a support battalion. Army brigades should not be confused with Saudi Arabian National Guard brigades. Light motorized infantry brigades include the 17th, 18th, and 19th.

Airborne

  • The Airborne Brigade
    • 4th Airborne Battalion
    • 5th Airborne Battalion

The Airborne Brigade is normally deployed near Tabuk. The Airborne Brigade has two parachute battalions and three Special Forces companies. Saudi Arabia is expanding its Special Forces and improving their equipment and training to help deal with the threat of terrorism. The Special Forces have been turned into independent fighting units to help deal with terrorists, and report directly to Prince Sultan.

Artillery Battalions

  • five artillery battalions
    • 14th FA (Towed, 155) Battalion
    • 15th FA (MLRS) Battalion
    • 18th Missile (MLRS) Battalion

The separate Royal Guard Regiment consists of three light infantry battalions.

Saudi Arabian Army Structure (click to enlarge).

Ranks[]

Officers (up) Enlisted (down)

Main equipment[]

Infantry weapons[]

Model Image Origin Type Caliber Notes
Handguns
Browning Hi-Power Flickr - ~Steve Z~ - 1971 Browning Hi Power 4.jpg  Belgium Handgun 9×19mm Parabellum
SIG Sauer P226 SIG P226 img 1624.jpg   Switzerland Handgun 9×19mm Parabellum
Glock ARMS & Hunting 2012 exhibition (474-23).jpg  Austria Handgun 9×19mm Parabellum
Submachine guns
FN P90 FN-P90 2.jpg  Belgium Submachine gun FN 5.7×28mm
Heckler & Koch MP5 Heckler & Koch MP5-1.jpg  Germany Submachine gun 9×19mm Parabellum Manufactured by Military Industries Corporation. MP5A2, MP5A3 & MP5K variants.[4]
Rifles
Heckler & Koch HK33 HK33A2 Flickr (yet another finn).jpg  West Germany Assault Rifle 5.56×45mm NATO HK33E variant.[5]
Heckler & Koch G36 G36 Select-Fire Carbine.JPEG  Germany
 Saudi Arabia
Assault Rifle 5.56×45mm NATO Manufactured by Military Industries Corporation[6]
FN SCAR-H Scar H Standard.jpg  Belgium
United States
Battle Rifle 7.62×51mm NATO Used by Airborne Units and Special Security Forces in the Royal Saudi Land Forces.[7][8]
M4 carbine PEO M4 Carbine RAS M68 CCO.jpg United States Carbine 5.56×45mm NATO Special forces only.
Heckler & Koch G3 DCB Shooting G3 pictures.jpg  West Germany
 Saudi Arabia
Battle Rifle 7.62×51mm NATO Standard Issue Rifle of Saudi Arabian Army. Manufactured by Military Industries Corporation[9]
M16A2 rifle M16A2 Rifle with M203 Grenade Launcher (7414627064).jpg United States Assault Rifle 5.56×45mm NATO
FN F2000 FN F2000S.JPG  Belgium Bullpup assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO The Saudi Arabian National Guard purchased 55,000 rifles in 2005.[10][11]
Steyr AUG
AUG A1 HBAR
150px
Steyr AUG A3.jpg
 Austria Assault Rifle 5.56×45mm NATO Standard assault rifle of the Saudi Arabian Army since 2009.[12][13]
AK-103 150px  Russia Assault Rifle 7.62×39mm Used by Airborne Units and Special Security Forces in the Royal Saudi Land Forces.[14][15] A license to produce AK-103 rifles was granted to Saudi Arabia in 2017.[16][17][18]
PM md. 63/65[19] PMmd.1963.jpg  Romania Assault Rifle 7.62×39mm Reserved.
Machine guns
Heckler & Koch MG4 H&KMG4.jpg  Germany Light machine gun 5.56×45mm NATO Standard light machine gun of the Saudi Arabian army.
Rheinmetall MG3 BundeswehrMG3.jpg  West Germany General-purpose machine gun 7.62×51mm NATO Standard general-purpose machine gun of the Saudi Arabian army.
FN Minimi FN MINIMI Standard Right.jpg  Belgium Squad automatic weapon 5.56×45mm NATO
FN MAG FN MAG.jpg  Belgium General-purpose machine gun 7.62×51mm NATO
Vektor SS-77 24- Saudi Border Guards Machine Gun (My Trip To Al-Jenadriyah 32).jpg  South Africa General-purpose machine gun

5.56×45mm NATO

M2 Browning Machine gun M2 1.jpg United States Heavy machine gun 12.7×99mm NATO Standard heavy machine gun of the Saudi Arabian army
Sniper rifles
Accuracy International AWM Bundeswehr-Technik 01 (RaBoe).jpg  United Kingdom Sniper Rifle .300 Winchester Magnum
Heckler & Koch PSG1 PSG-1 rifle museum 2014.jpg  Germany Sniper rifle 7.62×51mm NATO
M107/M107A1 M82rifle.jpg United States Anti-materiel rifle 12.7×99mm NATO
AWP (Arctic Warfare Police) Mk.13 MOD 5 sniper rifle.jpg  United Kingdom Sniper Rifle 7.62×51mm NATO
Robar RC-50 Robar RC-50 anti material sniper rifle.JPG United States Anti-material sniper rifle 12.7 × 99 mm NATO
Steyr SSG 69 Steyr SSG 69.jpg  Austria Sniper rifle 7.62×51mm NATO

Grenade, rocket, anti-tank, and missile systems[]

Model Image Origin Type Caliber Notes
Grenade launchers
M203 PEO M203A2 Grenade Launcher.jpg United States Grenade launcher 40×46mm SR
AGS-30 AGS-30 maks2009.jpg  Russia Automatic grenade launcher 40×46mm Manufactured by Saudi Arabian Military Industries[20][21]
Portable anti-tank weapons
C90-CR (M3) C-90.jpg  Spain Rocket-propelled grenade 90mm
9M133 Kornet Kornet-E (1).jpg  Russia
 Saudi Arabia
Anti-tank guided missile Tandem HEAT Manufactured by Saudi Arabian Military Industries[20][21][22]
FGM-148 Javelin FGM-148 Javelin (5160721562).jpg United States Medium-range Anti-tank guided missile 127mm Standard infantry AT weapon. 20 launchers and 150 missiles[23]
MBT LAW Pansarvärnsrobot 57 aka MTB LAW.jpg  United Kingdom
 Sweden
Short-range anti-tank missile system 150mm In service with Royal Saudi Land Forces.
RBS 56B BILL 2 Panzerabwehrlenkwaffe (25955577025).jpg  Sweden SACLOS Anti-tank missile 127mm
Raybolt  South Korea Anti-tank missile
Mounted anti-tank weapons
HOT Long Range Anti-tank Weapon HOT 3 - ILA2002-clean.jpg  France Anti-tank Missile Tandem charge HEAT HOT and HOT-2 delivered in 1989 and 1997 for use on AMX-10.
AGM-114 Hellfire Lockheed Martin Longbow Hellfire.jpg United States Anti-tank missile High-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) Used on AH-64D and AH-6s
BGM-71 TOW
BGM-71C ITOW
BGM-71D TOW-2
BGM-71E TOW-2A
USMC-100918-M-2021D-002.jpg United States Anti-tank missile 150mm Standard Issue to Saudi Arabian Army.

Mortars[]

Model Image Origin Type Caliber Notes
M224 mortar 60mm mortar round being launch (crop).jpg United States Lightweight mortar 60mm
Brandt Mle CM60A1 CM60A1 mortar Gendarmerie.jpg  France Gun-mortar 60mm
2R2M 120MM M327 120mm Mortar.jpg United States
 France
Heavy mortar 120mm Used On M113 APC.
MO-120-RT-61 120mm Mor120.jpg  France Heavy mortar 120mm
M30 mortar M30 mortar schematic.gif United States Heavy mortar 106mm

Vehicles[]

Tanks[]

Model Image Origin Variant Quantity Details
M1 Abrams Mounted Soldier System (MSS).jpg United States M1A2S 422 Saudi Arabia bought 373 M1A2 tanks,[24] with further 69 more M1A2S tanks ordered on 8 January 2013 and delivered by 31 July 2014.[25] Later Saudi Arabia decided to upgrade all of M1A2 variants to M1A2S configuration. 153 M1A2S on order since Aug 9, 2016[24] 20 were lost in Yemen[26]
M60 Patton M60 A3 (7527994088).jpg United States M60A3 390[27] 1,300 were acquired
AMX-30 French AMX-30 Desert Storm.jpg  France AMX-30SA 250 In reserve

Infantry fighting vehicles and Armored personnel carriers[]

Model Image Origin Variant Quantity Details
M2 Bradley 3rd Infantry Division M2A2.jpg United States M2A2 400[27] Principal IFV of the Saudi Army.[28]
AMX-10P AMX-10-IMG 1468.jpg  France 293[27] 500[29] were bought from France in 1974; most are now stored as a reserve.
M113 M113A1-latrun-1.jpg United States Many 3,112 [28]
Al-Masmak  Saudi Arabia 5,331 x[30][31][32]
HMMWV Saudi Arabian Humvee.jpg United States Various configurations 1500
Oshkosh M-ATV M153 CROWS mounted on a U.S. Army M-ATV.jpg United States Many 1859 Saudi Arabia began negotiations for an order for an undisclosed number of M-ATVs Saudi Arabia received an estimated 1859
URO VAMTAC Urovesa Vamtac Armored.png  Spain 30 [33]
Didgori Medevac Didgori Medevac with Saudi Arabia camouflage.jpg  Georgia Armored medical evacuation vehicle 100+ Saudi Arabia ordered 100+ Didgori Medevac from Georgia in 2016.
CUCV II[34] 1984 M1009 CUCV.jpg United States 200+

Artillery and missile systems[]

Field artillery[]

Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin Notes
M224 Mortar Mortar N/A N/A United States
Brandt 60mm LR Gun-mortar Mortar N/A N/A  France
MO-120-RT-61 120mm Mortar 200 200  France
2R2M 120MM Mortar 28 28  France
M30 107 mm Mortar Mortar N/A United States
PLZ-45 Self-propelled artillery 54[35]  China
M109A2 Self-propelled artillery 280 United States
CEASAR 155mm Self-propelled artillery 100 100  France
M-101A1 105mm Towed gun 100 United States
AMX-GCT Self-propelled artillery 90  France [28]
M198 howitzer Howitzer 120+ United States
FH-70 Howitzer 72+  European Union
M102 howitzer Howitzer 140[28] United States
Astros II MLRS Rocket artillery 72  Brazil

Strategic missile systems[]

Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin Notes
DF-3 Intermediate-range ballistic missile 60 60  China Maximum range is 2800 km with a 2000 tonne conventional warhead. Possible one nuclear warhead with a yield of 3.3 MT.

Army Aviation[]

Model Type Quantity Origin Comments Notes
Bell 406CS Combat Scout Attack Helicopter 13 United States
AH-64D Apache Attack Helicopter 12 United States A further 29 AH-64D Longbow III requested for more than $1200m.
Sikorsky S-70A1L Black Hawk Medevac Helicopter 8 United States
Sikorsky UH-60L Black Hawk Transport Helicopter 37 United States A further 24 UH-60L requested for $350m.
Aeryon Scout[36] Miniature UAV Unknown  Canada
  • (Anti-Air systems belong to Air Defense Force)

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Center for Strategic and International Studies The Middle East Military Balance (page 12), 2005
  2. 2.0 2.1 Royal Saudi Land Forces
  3. 3.0 3.1 Accéder Google Francais
  4. "MP5 Sub Machine Gun". mic.org.sa. Archived from the original on 2012-12-25. https://archive.is/20121225065231/http://en.mic.org.sa/our-products/light-weapon/mp5-submachine-gun-cal-9x19-mm. Retrieved 2017-04-25. 
  5. Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  6. "Rifle G36". mic.org.sa. http://mic.org.sa/Eng/our-products/Pages/GUN-G36.aspx. Retrieved 2017-04-25. 
  7. "إسماعيل خوجة 🇸🇦 on Twitter". https://twitter.com/Ghost21_SNA/status/931898016533041152. 
  8. "إسماعيل خوجة 🇸🇦 on Twitter". https://twitter.com/Ghost21_SNA/status/914898081094791168. 
  9. "G3 Semi-Automatic Rifle". mic.org.sa. http://mic.org.sa/Eng/our-products/Pages/G3Rifle.aspx. Retrieved 2017-04-25. 
  10. Kemp, Ian (2009). "A New 5.56mm Generation or a Changing of the Guard?". Asian Military Review. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. https://web.archive.org/web/20110707175054/http://www.asianmilitaryreview.com/upload/200906161450071.pdf. Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  11. Daniel Watters. "The 5.56×45mm: 2006". Archived from the original on 2011-08-07. https://web.archive.org/web/20110807101157/http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw-15.html. Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  12. Kokalis, Peter (February 1985). "STEYR AUG; This Bullpup's No Dog". Soldier of Fortune magazine. http://www.remtek.com/arms/steyr/aug/edit/augsof.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  13. "Steyr Mannlicher US: Our History". Steyrarms.com. Archived from the original on 12 December 2009. https://web.archive.org/web/20091212135902/http://www.steyrarms.com/about/our-history. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  14. "How an AK-103 Works". allinallnews. November 3, 2015. http://allinallnews.com/guns/ak-103. 
  15. "Saudi special forces operator in Yemen and armed with Russian AK 103". mighty_earth. http://www.imgrum.net/media/1246060538704571269_2338571929. 
  16. "Saudi Arabia to Start Licensed Manufacturing of AK-103 Rifles". http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/10/10/saudi-arabia-start-licensed-manufacturing-ak-103-rifles/. Retrieved 10 October 2017. 
  17. "РФ и Саудовская Аравия подписали меморандум о покупке и локализации продукции ВПК". TASS. http://tass.ru/armiya-i-opk/4620884. Retrieved 10 October 2017. 
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  19. https://sites.google.com/site/worldinventory/wiw_me_saudiarabia.0
  20. 20.0 20.1 Russia, Today. "Russia confirms sale of S-400 missile systems to Saudi Arabia". https://www.rt.com/business/406116-russia-saudi-arabia-s400-delivery/. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 360, Jane's. "Saudi Arabia and Russia sign S-400 MOU". http://www.janes.com/article/74677/saudi-arabia-and-russia-sign-s-400-mou. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  22. "Russia confirms sale of S-400 missile systems to Saudi Arabia". https://www.rt.com/business/406116-russia-saudi-arabia-s400-delivery/. 
  23. "Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – JAVELIN Missiles | The Official Home of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency". 2010-11-18. http://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/kingdom-saudi-arabia-javelin-missiles. Retrieved 2017-05-30. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 "The 2006 Saudi Shopping Spree: $2.9B to Upgrade M1 Abrams Tank Fleet". DefenseIndustryDaily.com. 4 January 2011. Archived from the original on October 25, 2006. https://web.archive.org/web/20061025014002/http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/2006/08/the-2006-saudi-shopping-spree-29b-to-upgrade-m1-abrams-tank-fleet/index.php. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  25. "Saudi Arabia Orders 69 More M1A2S Abrams Heavy Tanks". Deagel.com, 8 January 2013.
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  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 Military Balance 2005- page 135
  29. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named History
  30. "Al-Masmak Masmak Nyoka Mk2 MRAP Mine Resistant Armored Personnel Carrier technical data sheet - Army Recognition - Army Recognition". http://www.armyrecognition.com/saudi_arabia_army_wheeled_armoured_vehicles_uk/al-masmak_masmak_mrap_mine_resistant_armored_personnel_carrier_technical_data_sheet_specifications.html. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
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  32. https://www.armyrecognition.com/saudi_arabia_army_wheeled_armoured_vehicles_uk/al-masmak_masmak_nyoka_mk2_mrap_apc_mine_resistant_armored_personnel_carrier_technical_data_sheet.html
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  34. "Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle: CUCV II". Olive-drab.com. http://www.olive-drab.com/idphoto/id_photos_cucv2.php. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  35. Chinese Guns Conquer Arabia
  36. "picture of Saudi Army with Aeryon Scout". https://twitter.com/SaudiArmyNews/status/335404356637716480. 

13. [1] http://www.defense-arabic.com/threads/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%B9%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B5%D9%85%D9%83.196/

External links[]

See also[]

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