Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force (Arabic: قوة الصواريخ الإستراتيجيه الملكية السعودية) is the fifth branch of the Saudi Armed Forces. The RSSMF probably previously had its headquarters in Riyadh, in the underground command facility that co-ordinates Saudi Arabia's advanced "Peace Shield" radar and air defence system, but, during July 2013, the new RSSMF headquarters and academy buildings were officially opened in Riyadh by Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz and current RSSMF commander Major General Jarallah Alaluwayt.
The main weapon of the RSSMF is the Chinese DF-3 (CSS-2) Dongfeng missile sold to Saudi Arabia by China. A conventional high-explosive warhead (2150 kg) variant of the DongFeng 3A Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile with range up to 2800 km was developed for an export order to Saudi Arabia in 1987. About 30~120 missiles and 9~12 launchers were reportedly delivered in 1988, though no known test launch has ever been made in the country. Some sources suggest that the RSSMF has considered purchasing the advanced DF-21 ballistic missile from China in the future.
The Strategic Missile Force has one known partially underground ballistic missile base built in 2008, Al-Watah ballistic missile base (found in satellite images ) in the rocky central part of Saudi Arabia, some 200 km south-west of the capital city Riyadh. It has security perimeter with a checkpoint on the main road, extensive storage and administrative areas with two launch pads and a communications tower, roads and seven gates leading to the underground facilities, and fortified depots for launchers behind the secondary checkpoint in the ravine area.
Two other older bases at Al Sulayyil ballistic missile base and Al Jufayr share many similarities, suggesting that they share the same role. Al Jufayr lies approximately 90 km south of Riyadh, with Al Sulayyil approximately 450 km southwest of the capital. Each complex has two missile garrisons (a north and a south), with a third area providing housing, maintenance, and administrative functions. The garrisons themselves are located a short distance apart within a secured complex. The administrative and support complexes are outside the security perimeter.
The Strategic Missile Force is top secret, there is no open information concerning the exact number of personnel or budget of the RSSMF. The RSSMF's role is growing fast now since Saudi Arabia and other Arab States of the Persian Gulf declared in 2009 a wish to obtain nuclear weapons as a countermeasure against the Iranian nuclear program. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington have mentioned it. Some experts speculate (taking into account Saudi Arabia financial help to Pakistan's nuclear weapons program) that Saudi Arabia can or has already received nuclear weapons from Pakistan. One report by the British Broadcasting Corporation states "it is a cash-and-carry deal for warheads, the first of those options sketched out by the Saudis back in 2003; others that it is the second, an arrangement under which Pakistani nuclear forces could be deployed in the Kingdom."