Royal Saudi Navy
|Royal Saudi Arabian Navy|
(Arabic;) «بَحْرِيَّة الْـمَمْلَكَةُ العَرَبيَّـةُ السَّـعُوديَّةُ »
|Founded||As early as May 1796;|
|Country||Arabian Kingdom [nb 1]|
|Allegiance||Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques|
|Branch||Saudi Armed Forces (as of 1919)|
|Size||50,000 Officers & sailors
22,500 Royal Marines
72,500 total personnel (2015 est.)
300+ ships & 50+ aircraft (2016 est.)
|Headquarters||King Rd, Al Wazarat, Riyadh|
|Anniversaries||May 25; (98 years ago)|
||Prince Mohammad Al Saud|
||General Abdul Rahman Al Banyan|
||Vice Admiral Abdullah Al Sultan|
|Naval base flag|
The Royal Saudi Naval Forces is the Naval force of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, sometimes referred to as the RSNF (Royal Saudi Naval Forces). The Navy has more than 70,000 officers and men, including Marines. The Naval headquarters is in Riyadh. The Western Fleet is based in the Red Sea with the main base at Jeddah. The Eastern Fleet is based in the Persian Gulf with headquarters at Jubail. Other naval facilities were located at Yanbu, Dammam, and Ras Mishab.
The Navy was founded in 1957 and began a significant expansion with United States assistance in 1972 aiming to match the Imperial Iranian Navy. Following the Iranian Revolution a further expansion programme, Sawari, was initiated with French assistance. Further vessels were purchased from Britain and France in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1980, U.S. defense contractor Science Applications International Corporation began work with the Royal Saudi Navy to design and integrate the country's own command, control, and communications (C3) centers.
The navy is a modern force with foreign built ships:
- French built frigates and support vessels
- US built corvettes and patrol boats
- British built Sandown-class minehunters
Three Al Riyadh-class frigates are modified versions of the La Fayette-class frigate (built by DCN, Lorient). Each has a fully loaded displacement of 4,725 tons, and is armed with eight MBDA Exocet MM40 Block II surface-to-surface missiles (SSM), two eight-cell Sylver vertical launch systems for the Eurosam (MBDA and Thales) Aster 15 surface-to-air missile (SAM), an Oto Melara 76 mm/62 Super Rapid gun, and four 533 mm aft torpedo tubes. The ships are armed with the DCNS F17 heavyweight anti-submarine torpedo. The helicopter deck at the stern has a single landing spot for a medium size helicopter, such as the Eurocopter AS 365 Dauphin or the larger AS 532 Cougar or NH90 helicopters.
- 812 Al Riyadh (2002)
- 814 Makkah (2003)
- 816 Dammam (2004)
Four Al Madinah-class frigates based in the Red Sea, built in France (Arsenal de Marine, Lorient (French Government Dockyard and CNIM, La Seyne) in the mid-1980s. Their full load displacement is 2,610 tons and they are armed with eight Otomat surface-to-surface missiles, one 8-cell Crotale surface-to-air missile launcher (26 missiles total), one 100 mm/44 dual purpose gun, two 40 mm anti-aircraft guns, four torpedo tubes, an aft helicopter deck and hangar; one Dauphin helicopter.
- 702 Al Madinah (1985)
- 704 Hofouf (1985)
- 706 Abha (1986)
- 708 Taif (1986)
It was believed the Saudis intended to order two new British-built Type 45 destroyers, however production of the destroyers came to an end with no order made. Another destroyer that the Saudis are considering is the American built Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, having been briefed by the US Navy in May 2011 on the acquisition of two destroyers in a package that also includes an unknown number of Littoral Combat Ships.
4 Badr-class corvettes built in the United States in 1981–83, based in the Persian Gulf, full load displacement of 1,038 tons, armament of eight Harpoon SSM, one 76 mm OTO DP gun, one 20 mm Phalanx CIWS, two 20 mm guns, one 81 mm mortar, two 40 mm grenade launchers, two triple 12.75 inch torpedo tubes
- 612 Badr (1981)
- 614 Al-Yarmook (1982)
- 616 Hitteen (1982)
- 618 Tabuk (1983)
9 Al Sadiq-class patrol boats built in the United States (Peterson Builders, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin) 1972–1980, full load displacement of 495 tons, armed with four Harpoon SSM, one 76 mm OTO gun, one 20 mm Phalanx CIWS, two 20 mm guns, one 81 mm mortar, two 40 mm grenade launchers, two triple 12.75 inch torpedo tubes
- 511 As-Siddiq (الصّدّيق) (1980)
- 513 Al-Farouq (1981) (الفاروق)
- 515 Abdul-Aziz (1981)
- 517 Faisal (1981)
- 519 Khalid (1982)
- 521 Amr (1982)
- 523 Tariq (1982)
- 525 Ouqbah (1982) (عُقبه)
- 527 Abu Obaidah (1982) (أبو عُبيده)
- Possible sale of 30 Mark V Special Operations Craft
- 420 Al Jawf (1991)
- 422 Shaqra (1993)
- 424 Al Kharj (1994)
- 902 Boraida (1984)
- 904 Yunbou (1985)
Many smaller patrol craft, two Danish-built royal yachts
- Prince Abdul Aziz (1983–84) – built by Helsingør Værft
- Al Yamana (Built for Iraq 1981; entered service in Saudi Arabia in 1988)
|Sikorsky MH-60R||USA||ASW/ASuW Helicopter||10||Ordered May 2015 - armed with Hellfire missiles|
|AS332 Super Puma||FRA||ASW helicopter||B1, M1, F1S1, F1S2||20|
|AS565 SA Dauphin||FRA||SAR helicopter||24|
Germany will supply 48 patrol boats to Saudi Arabia within the framework of its border security project, a cost of 1.5 billion euros has been noted for this deal. Lürssen, has already started building 15 patrol vessels for the project's first phase. The patrol boats to be procured under the current contract come in two forms. The first are the 'TNC 35' models, which are 35-meter-long and are propelled by two diesel engines with a combined output of 7,800 kilowatts. The boat can reach speeds of up to 40 knots. The second models, 'FPB 38' are 38-meter-long and can reach speeds of up to 31 knots. As of November 2016 1 TNC 35 has been delivered to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia wants to buy five German submarines for around €2.5 billion ($3.4 billion) and more than two dozen more in the future.
In December 2014, the U.S. awarded Lockheed Martin a contract for a Foreign Military Sale of the Mk 41 Vertical Launching System to Saudi Arabia. With no surface ships compatible with the Mk 41 and no plans to acquire a land-based missile defense system, this indicates the country is close to purchasing a VLS-equipped surface combatant. Saudi Arabia has evaluated the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and the Multi-mission Combat Ship version of the Freedom-class littoral combat ship able to carry a VLS. In October 2015, the truth came as the US informed Congress of a possible sale of Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) Ships, a variant of the LCS.
- Jeddah – Red Sea base home to the navy's Western fleet for frigates and 2 missile boats, 1 replenishing ship and 1 patrol minesweeper; located north of the King Faisal Naval Base air station and south of the container port area
- Jubail – Persian Gulf base is home to the navy's Eastern fleet; smaller base home to corvettes, replenishing ship remaining missile boats and minesweepers
- Dammam – Persian Gulf home port for the Saudi Royal family's two Royal Yachts
- Ensign (Arabic: ملازم)
- Lieutenant Junior Grade (Arabic: ملازم أول)
- Lieutenant (Arabic: نقيب)
- Lieutenant-Commander (Arabic: رائد)
- Commander (Arabic: مقدم)
- Captain (Arabic: عقيد)
- Commodore (Arabic: عميد)
- Rear-Admiral (Arabic: لواء)
- Vice-Admiral (Arabic: فريق)
- Admiral (Arabic: فريق أول)
- Private (Arabic: جندي)
- First Class Private (Arabic: جندي أول)
- Corporal (Arabic: عريف)
- Vice Sergeant (Arabic: وكيل رقيب)
- Sergeant (Arabic: رقيب)
- First Class Sergeant (Arabic: رقيب أول)
- Master Sergeant (Arabic: رئيس رقباء)
On January 30, 2017 HMS Al-Madinah was attacked by Houthi rebels using a suicide boat, killing 2 sailors and wounding 3 others. The attack took place near the port city of Al Hudaydah, 150 kilometers southwest of the Yemeni capital Sana'a.
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- Saudi Gazette. "Navy sinks 2 infiltrator vessels". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- Dr. J. Robert Beyster with Peter Economy, The SAIC Solution: How We Built an $8 Billion Employee-Owned Technology Company, John Wiley & Sons (2007) p. 49
- The Independent, "UK seeks £2bn Saudi destroyer contract" By Michael Harrison, 9 March 2007
- Defense News, "Saudi Arabia Mulling BMD-Capable Destroyers" By Christopher P. Cavas , 13 June 2011
- "Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Mark V Patrol Boats". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- "Report: Saudi Arabia Eyes Buying German Submarines". Defense News. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- FMS of MK 41 Vertical Launch Systems May Indicate Purchase of LCS or DDG by Saudi Arabia - Navyrecognition.com, 18 December 2014
- Gibbons-Neff, Thomas (February 6, 2017). "Video emerges of suicide boat ramming Saudi frigate". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
- Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995