Minister of Defense (Saudi Arabia)

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Ministry of Defense (Saudi Arabia)
Agency overview
Formed1943; 77 years ago (1943)
JurisdictionGovernment of Saudi Arabia
Minister responsible
Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, in his official position as First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, with U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis in 2018.

The Ministry of Defense (Arabic: وزارة الدفاع‎) is a ministry in Saudi Arabia that is responsible for the protection of the national security, interests and sovereignty of the country from the external threats as well as the working with all ministries of the state to achieve national security and stability.[1] The current minister of defense is Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who was appointed on 23 January 2015. The Ministry includes four armed forces; The Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF), The Royal Saudi Air Forces (RSAF), The Royal Saudi Naval Forces, The Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces (RSADF).

In 2017, Saudi Arabia has ranked third in the world with military spending and by far the largest military spender in the Middle East.[2][3] With an allocated budget of $69.4 billion representing 10% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), Saudi Arabia replaced Russia, which ranked fourth in military spending according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).[4] SIPRI also stated that Saudi Arabia is the most well-armed country in the Persian Gulf region in terms of its inventory of modern equipment.[5]


Military Affairs Administration

In 1929, A royal order was issued by King Abdulaziz, the founder of Saudi Arabia, to create the Military Affairs Administration to deal with military issues and build a strong army. The army was organized into three units: machine gun, infantry and artillery units[6].

Defense Agency

In addition to the Military Affairs Administration, the Defense Agency was established by King Abdulaziz’s order in 1934 as a requirement of the expansion and modernization where further detachments were created and distributed over the cities and seaports of the country.

General Staff Presidency

In 1939, the General Staff Presidency was established replacing the Military Affairs Administration.

Ministry of Defense and aviation.

In 1943, the Ministry of Defense was created replacing the Defense Agency, later in 1952, its name was changed to the ministry of defense and aviation.

Ministry of Defense

In 2011, the Ministry of Defense and Aviation was amended to be Ministry of Defense.

Saudi Armed Forces[edit]

The Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF)

RSLF are the backbone of Saudi armed forces which are equipped with weapons and military vehicles, including tanks, armored vehicles, mortars, combat troop carriers, and helicopters.

The Royal Saudi Air Forces (RSAF)

RSAF are responsible for protecting and defending the airfield of the country. Additionally, RSAF established a training college for aviation as well as an institute for operation and maintenance.

The Royal Saudi Naval Forces

The royal Saudi naval forces own two main fleets; the eastern fleet in the Persian Gulf, and the western fleet in the Red Sea. These fleets equipped with battleship units, support ship units, administrative and technical support, naval aviation groups, marines and special naval security units.

The Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces (RSADF)

RSADF is responsible for protecting and securing the airspace of the country.

The Royal Saudi Strategic Missiles Force

This is an important branch of the armed forces supporting and boosting the defense capabilities of the country.

Ministers of Defense[edit]

Flags of the Armed Forces[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mission". Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  2. ^ Brown, Daniel. "The 15 countries with the highest military budgets in 2017". Business Insider. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Report: Saudi Arabia world third highest military spender in 2017". Middle East Monitor. 3 May 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  4. ^ Tian, Nan; Fleurant, Aude; Kuimova, Alexandra; Wezeman, Pieter D.; wezeman, Siemon T. (May 2018). "Trends in world military expenditure, 2017" (PDF). SIPRI. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Saudi Arabia, armaments and conflict in the Middle East | SIPRI". Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Historical Perspective". Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Ex-Ministers, Ex-Deputy Ministers, and Ex-Chiefs of Staff". Retrieved 22 December 2018.

External links[edit]