Royal Army of Oman

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The Royal Army of Oman (Arabic: الجيش السلطاني العماني),[1] also known as the Omani Army,[2] is the ground branch of the Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces that protects the sovereignty of Oman. In terms of materiel, the Army is small but well equipped to the extent that external aggression is now realistically deterred. The Royal Army is the oldest and largest branch, with 20,000 personnel. The Royal Army was originally established for defeating an insurgency in the south of the country. [3]


Royal Army of Oman

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Royal Oman Army was composed of fifty or sixty men who protected the Sultan of Oman, and evolved into a full-fledged army by 1975. It played a major role in a counterinsurgency operation in southern Oman in the 1970s, at the time under the command of a British officer, along with the Royal Oman Navy and Royal Oman Air Force. The campaign saw a reformation and expansion of the Royal Army, as well as the creation of a special forces unit, the Royal Guard of Oman. It was used for ceremonial purposes, as well as the defense of the Sultan. As of the 1990s, most of the officers were ethnic Omanis, however, there were still a British presence in the Royal Army. France and the United States also gave tanks to the Royal Army. Two officer schools were formed in Muscat, the capital. [3]

Field organization[edit]

Oregon National Guard Training in Oman alongside the Omani Army (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Cory Grogan, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)
  • One divisional HQ
  • Two brigade HQ (Northern Brigade, Southern Brigade) with a 3rd in the process of being established for Border Security
  • Armour
    • Two Armoured Regiments (battalion-sized, one with Challenger 2, one with M60A3)
    • Armoured Car Regiment (battalion)
  • Infantry
    • Mechanized Regiment (one battalion)
    • Muscat Regiment (one battalion)
    • Northern Frontier Regiment (one battalion)
    • Desert Regiment (one battalion)
    • Jebel Regiment (one battalion)
    • Southern Regiment (two battalions, composed of Baluchi personnel)
  • Artillery
    • Four Artillery Regiments (battalions)
  • SAF Signals
  • SAF Engineers
  • SAF Electrical & Mechanical Engineers


Anti-aircraft missiles of the Oman Artillery (Land Rovers towing Rapier missile wheeled launchers)

Oman has one regiment of British-built Challenger 2 main battle tanks and the other slightly larger regiment of M60 (predominantly M60A3) MBTs rounding out Oman's sole armoured brigade. Oman recently received 174 Piranha light armoured vehicles and over 80 VBL scout cars from France to further strengthen military capabilities. In terms of artillery, in the 1990s Oman received G6 155 mm howitzers from South Africa, and Oman's anti-tank capabilities are to be greatly strengthened by the soon-to-be-delivered 100 Javelin missiles from the United States. On a troop level, Oman's armed forces are frequently trained and briefed by the regular British Army and elite British Special Air Service (SAS).

In addition to the relatively high calibre of weaponry, Oman's close historical and military ties with Britain virtually guarantees Omani sovereignty, and strengthening relations with Washington assures the Royal Army of Oman of a quiet immediate future.

In May 2013, the US announced an Oman Air-Defense Deal worth $2.1 billion to supply a US-made air-defense system.[4]

Armoured Vehicles[edit]




Small arms[edit]

Out of Service equipment[edit]