Saudi Arabian Army
|Saudi Arabian Army
الجيش العربي السعودي
|Part of||Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia|
|Motto||'God is the greatest'|
|Chief of Army Staff||General Eid bin Awad Al-Shalawi|
The Saudi Arabian Army (Arabic: الجيش العربي السعودي), also called Royal Saudi Land Force (Arabic: القوات البرية الملكية السعودية), is a branch of the Saudi Armed Forces. The total number of active troops is estimated to be 150,000 The Chief of the Saudi General Staff until 2011 was Field Marshal Saleh Al-Muhaya.
- 1 History
- 2 Structure
- 3 Ranks
- 4 Main equipment
- 5 References
- 6 External links
- 7 See also
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- five artillery battalions
The separate Royal Guard Regiment consists of three light infantry battalions.
|This section requires expansion. (June 2008)|
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (March 2011)|
Grenade, rocket, anti-tank, and missile systems
|M203||Single shot grenade launcher||United States|
|FGM-148 Javelin||Anti-tank guided missile||United States|
|Swingfire||Anti-tank guided missile||United Kingdom|
|Vickers Vigilant||Anti-tank missile||500||United Kingdom|
|M47 Dragon||Anti-tank missile||4,692||United States|
|AGM-114 Hellfire||Anti-tank guided missile||2,954||United States|
|HOT||Anti-tank guided missile||3,500|| France
|HOT 2||Anti-tank guided missile||249|| France
|Bill 2||SACLOS Anti-tank missile||200||Sweden|
|SS.11||Anti-tank guided missile||2,000||France|
|BGM-71 TOW||Anti-tank guided missile||10,738||United States|
|BGM-71C ITOW||Anti-tank guided missile||2,538||United States|
|BGM-71D TOW-2||Anti-tank guided missile||6,210||United States|
|BGM-71E TOW-2A||Anti-tank guided missile||5,131||United States|
Logistics, support and engineering vehicles
|HMMWV||Light utility vehicle||15,000+||United States|
|URO VAMTAC||Light utility vehicle||30||Spain|
Armoured fighting vehicles
Artillery and missile systems
|M1A2 Abrams||Main battle tank||315||United States|| Will be upgraded to M1A2S standard. 69 more ordered.|
|M60A1/A3 Patton||Main battle tank||460||United States|
|AMX-30||Main battle tank||320||France|
|Nexter Aravis||Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle||France||100-200 on order|
|TPz Fuchs||NBC reconnaissance
|Al-Fahd||Infantry fighting vehicle||100||Saudi Arabia|
|LAV/Piranha II||armoured fighting vehicle||1,117||172 on order|
|LAV-III||armoured fighting vehicle||700+|
|Al-Naif||Armored car||Saudi Arabia|
|Al Kaser||Armoured personnel carrier||50||Saudi Arabia|
|AMX-10P||Infantry fighting vehicle||600||France|||
|M2A2 Bradley||Infantry fighting vehicle||400||United States|||
|M113||Armoured personnel carrier||3,000||United States|| 364 had been upgraded in Turkey.|
|EE-11 Urutu||Armoured personnel carrier||20||Brazil|
|Der' Al-Jazeera||Armoured personnel carrier||Unknown||Saudi Arabia|
|Al-Masmak||Mine-Resistant Armoured personnel carrier||Unknown||Saudi Arabia|||
|Panhard M3||Armoured personnel carrier||300||France|
|Panhard AML-60/90||Armoured car||300||Saudi Arabia|||
|Ashibl-1||Armoured personnel carrier||Unknown||Saudi Arabia|
|V-150||Armoured personnel carrier||579||United States|
|Ashibl-2||Armoured personnel carrier||Unknown||Saudi Arabia|
|MCPV||Air-defense vehicle||France||68 on order|
|M224 Mortar||Mortar||N/A||N/A||United States|
|Brandt 60mm LR Gun-mortar||Mortar||N/A||N/A||France|
|M30 107 mm Mortar||Mortar||N/A||United States|
|M109A2||Self-propelled artillery||280||United States|
|CEASAR 155mm||Self-propelled artillery||100||100||France|
|M-101A1 105mm||Towed gun||100||United States|
|M198 howitzer||Howitzer||120+||United States|
|M102 howitzer||Howitzer||140||United States|
|Astros II MLRS||Rocket artillery||72||Brazil|
Strategic missile systems
|DF-3||Intermediate-range ballistic missile||60||60||China||Maximum range is 2800km with a 2 tonne conventional warhead. Possible one nuclear warhead with a yield of 3.3 MT.|
|DF-21||Medium-range ballistic missile||China||Purchased in 2007, non-nuclear capable.|
|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||Miniature UAV||Unknown||Canada|
- (Anti-Air systems belong to Air Defense Force)
- Center for Strategic and International Studies The Middle East Military Balance (page 12), 2005
- Royal Saudi Land Forces
- Saudi Arabia Orders 69 More M1A2S Abrams Heavy Tanks - Deagel.com, January 8, 2013
- Chinese Guns Conquer Arabia
- Saudi Arabia to purchase DF-21 Chinese-made ballistic missile with the agreement of U.S. - Armyrecognition.com, 1 February 2014
- "picture of Saudi Army with Aeryon Scout".
- RSLF official website
- CIA World Factbook
- Pakistani tanks deal
- 2006 Military spending of Saudi Forces
- latest French tanks deal