The Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force (RSSMF) (Arabic: قوة الصواريخ الإستراتيجيه الملكية السعودية) is the fifth branch of the Saudi Armed Forces. The RSSMF formerly had its headquarters in Riyadh in an underground command facility. This facility co-ordinates Saudi Arabia's advanced "Peace Shield" radar and air defense systems. In July 2013, the new RSSMF headquarters and academy buildings were opened officially 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, which carries a conventional high-explosive warhead (2150 kg) and is a variant of the DongFeng 3A Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile. The missile has a maximum range of 2800 km, and was delivered following an order made by Saudi Arabia in 1987. About 30~120 missiles and 9~12 transporter erector launchers (TEL) were reportedly delivered in 1988, though no known test-launch has been made in the country. Some sources suggest that the RSSMF will consider purchasing the advanced DF-21 ballistic missile from China in the future.
The Strategic Missile Force has an underground ballistic missile base which was built in 2008 - Al-Watah ballistic missile base (found in satellite images) - in the rocky central part of Saudi Arabia, some 200 km southwest of the capital city of Riyadh. It has a security perimeter with a checkpoint on the main road, as well as extensive storage and underground facilities. It also includes administrative buildings, two launch pads, a communications tower, and seven gates leading to the underground facilities. Fortified depots for launchers lie behind the secondary checkpoint in the ravine area.
Two older bases at Al Sulayyil and Al Jufayr are similar in many ways, 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 (one in the north, and another in the south), with another area serving housing, maintenance, and administrative functions. The garrisons themselves are located a short distance away within a secured complex. The administrative and support complexes are outside the security perimeter.
Some experts speculate (taking into account Saudi Arabia’s financial contribution to Pakistan's nuclear weapons program) that Saudi Arabia may receive or has already received nuclear weapons from Pakistan. One report by the BBC says some hold "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."