Saudi Arabian Army

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Royal Saudi Land Forces
Arabic: القُوَّاتُ البَرِّيَّةُ المَلَكِيَّة السُّعُودِيَّة

Royal Arabian Land Forces (logo).png
Seal
Active 1745;[1]
Country Saudi Arabia[nb 1]
Branch Royal Armed Forces (As of Jan 1902)
Type Army
Role Ground-based warfare
Size 75,000 (IISS Military Balance 2017)
Part of
  • MODA (As of Sep 1933)
    JSP (As of Aug 1926)
  • MOW (1823– 1891)
Headquarters King Road, Al Wazarat, Riyadh
Anniversaries January 13; (115 years ago)
Decorations Order of the Battlefield SA.png
Website Official Website
Commanders
Minister of Defense C. Prince Mohammad Al Saud
Chief of Joint Staff General Abdul Rahman Al Banyan
Commander of Royal Land Forces
Lt. Gen. Prince Fahd Al Saud
Insignia


Chief of General Staff flag of the Saudi Armed Forces.svg
Battle flag
Flag of the Royal Saudi Land Forces.png
A column of M-113 APCs and other military vehicles of the Royal Saudi Land Forces travel along a channel cleared of mines during Operation Desert Storm., Kuwait - 1 March 1991.

The Royal Saudi Land Forces (KSA) (Arabic: القُوَّاتُ البَرِّيَّةُ المَلَكِيَّة السُّـعُودِيَّة‎), also called Saudi Arabian Army (Arabic: الجَيْشُ العَرَبيّ السُّـعُودِيَّ‎ Al-Jaysh Al-Araby al-Saudi), are the largest branch of the Saudi Arabia Armed Forces. The Saudi Arabia Ground Armed Forces (SAAF) divide its manpower between two main entities, the National Guard (SANG) and the Army [RSLF]. The Chief of the Saudi General Staff until 2011 was Field Marshal Saleh Al-Muhaya.[2]

History[edit]

The 20th Brigade of the Royal Saudi Land Forces display a 155 mm (6 in) GCT self-propelled gun, left, and AMX-10P infantry combat vehicles

The modern Saudi Army has its roots in the first Saudi State, which was formed as early as 1745, and is considered to be the birth year of the Saudi Army. As of 13 January 1902 was founded as the Royal Saudi Land Forces, and is the oldest branch of the KSA military.[1]

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.[citation needed]

A Saudi M60A3 tank being transferred

Saudi Arabia's armed forces suffer severe difficulties due to their over-reliance on foreign contractor support and unwillingness to conduct realistic training.[3] Much very modern equipment is not properly understood or used.

Mohammad bin Salman was appointed Defense Minister when his father,who had been Minister,became King in 2015.[4]

Wars involved[edit]

Saudi Arabian army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter during Operation Desert Shield.

First Saudi State (1745–1818)[edit]

Saudi State (1818–1891)[edit]

The Unification of Saudi Arabia (1902–1933)[edit]

A Saudi Arabian (HMMWV) with a QCB machine gun mounted on top depart for the seaport of Mogadishu in Somalia

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (1933–present)[edit]

Structure[edit]

US Marines training members of the Saudi Arabian Army

The combat strength of the Saudi Army consists of 4 Armoured, 5 Mechanized, 2 Light Infantry (1 Royal Guards, 1 Special Forces) Brigades. 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.[6]

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.[6]

Armor

  • 4th (King Khaled) Armoured Brigade
  • 6th (King Fah'd) Armoured Brigade
  • 7th (Prince Sultan)Armoured Brigade
  • 8th (King Fah'd)Armoured Brigade
  • 10th (King Faisal)Armoured Brigade
  • 12th (Khalid ibn al-Walid)Armoured Brigade

A typical Saudi armoured brigade has an armoured reconnaissance company, three tank battalions with 35 tanks each, a mechanized infantry battalion with 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.[7]

Mechanized

  • 11th Mechanized Brigade
  • 12th Mechanized Brigade
  • 13th Mechanized Brigade
  • 14th Mechanized Brigade
  • 20th Mechanized Brigade

A typical Saudi mechanized brigade has an armoured reconnaissance company, one tank battalion with 40 tanks, three mechanized infantry battalions with 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. It has 24 anti-tank guided weapons launchers and four mortar sections with a total of eight 81 mm (3 in) mortars.[7]

Infantry

  • 16th (King Saud) Light motorized infantry brigade
  • 17th (Abu Bakr Assiddeeq) Light motorized infantry brigade
  • 18th (King Abdullah) Light motorized infantry brigade
  • 19th (?Umar ibn Al-Khatt?b) 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.

Airborne

  • The 1st 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.

Artillery Battalions

  • five artillery battalions
    • 14th FA (Towed, 155) Battalion
    • 15th FA (MLRS) Battalion
    • 18th Missile (MLRS) Battalion

Aviation

  • 1st Aviation Group
  • 2nd Aviation Group
  • 3rd Aviation Group
  • 4th Aviation Group

The separate Royal Guard Regiment consists of four light infantry battalions.

Saudi Arabian Army Structure (click to enlarge).

Main equipment[edit]

Note that figures below do not include war losses due to the ongoing conflict in Yemen.

Infantry weapons[edit]

Small arms[edit]

Model Image Type Quantity Acquired Origin Notes
Browning Hi-Power Flickr - ~Steve Z~ - 1971 Browning Hi Power 4.jpg Semi-automatic pistol  Belgium
SIG Sauer P226[8] SIG P226 img 1624.jpg Semi-automatic pistol  Germany
Glock 17 Glock17.jpg Semi-automatic pistol  Austria
FN P90 FN-P90 2.jpg Submachine gun  Belgium
H&K MP5 MP5.jpg Submachine gun  West Germany
 Saudi Arabia
Manufactured by Military Industries Corporation. MP5A2, MP5A3 & MP5K variants.[9]
HK33A2 HK33A2 Flickr (yet another finn).jpg Assault rifle  West Germany
Heckler & Koch G3 DCB Shooting G3 pictures.jpg Battle Rifle  West Germany
 Saudi Arabia
Manufactured by Military Industries Corporation[10]
Heckler & Koch G36 Saudi security forces on parade - Flickr - Al Jazeera English (11).jpg Assault Rifle  Germany Manufactured by Military Industries Corporation[11]
M4 carbine M4A1 ACOG.jpg Assault Rifle  United States
M16A2 rifle[12] M16A2 - AM.016070.jpg Assault Rifle  United States
FN F2000[13] FN F2000S.JPG Assault Rifle 55,000+  Belgium
Steyr AUG Steyr-AUG.jpeg Assault Rifle  Austria Service Rifle
AK-103 AK-103 Assault Rifle.JPG Assault Rifle  Russia
PM md. 63[14] PMmd.1963.jpg Assault Rifle  Romania
AUG A1 HBAR Steyr AUG A3.jpg Squad automatic weapon  Austria
Heckler & Koch MG4[15] HK MG4 01.jpg Light Machine Gun  Germany
FN Minimi[16] M249 FN MINIMI DA-SC-85-11586 c1.jpg Light Machine Gun  Belgium
Rheinmetall MG 3[17] BundeswehrMG3.jpg General purpose machine gun  Germany
FN MAG FN MAG.jpg General purpose machine gun  Belgium
M2 Browning M2 Browning, Musée de l'Armée.jpg Heavy machine gun  United States
Heckler & Koch PSG1[18] PSG-1 rifle museum 2014.jpg Sniper Rifle  Germany
Accuracy International AWP[19] Mk.13 MOD 5 sniper rifle.jpg Sniper Rifle  United Kingdom
Steyr SSG 69[20] Steyr SSG 69.jpg Sniper Rifle  Austria
Barrett M82[21] Barret M82 DA-ST-92-07336.jpg Anti-materiel rifle  United States
Robar RC-50[22] Robar RC-50 anti material sniper rifle.JPG Anti-materiel rifle  United States

Grenade, rocket, anti-tank, and missile systems[edit]

Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin Notes
M203 Single shot grenade launcher  United States
C90-CR (M3) grenade launcher Spain
FGM-148 Javelin Anti-tank guided missile  United States
MBT LAW Anti-tank guided missile  United Kingdom
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
MILAN Anti-tank guided missile  France
Germany West Germany
HOT Anti-tank guided missile 3,500  France
Germany West Germany
HOT 2 Anti-tank guided missile 249  France
Germany West Germany
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

Mortars[edit]

Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin Notes
M224 Mortar Mortar N/A N/A  United States
Brandt Mle CM60A1 Mortar N/A N/A  France
MO-120-RT-61 120mm Mortar 200 200  France
2R2M 120MM Mortar 28 28  France
M30 107 mm Mortar Mortar N/A  United States

Vehicles[edit]

Tanks[edit]

Model Image Origin Variant Quantity Details
M1 Abrams M1A2 Abrams, August 14, 2014.JPG  United States M1A2S 442

+ 153 on order

Saudi Arabia bought 373 M1A2 tanks,[23] with further 69 more M1A2S tanks ordered on 8 January 2013 and delivered by 31 July 2014.[24] Later Saudi Arabia decided to upgrade all of M1A2 variants to M1A2S configuration. 153 M1A2S on order since Aug 9, 2016[23]
M60 Patton M60 A3 (7527994088).jpg  United States M60A3 450[25] 485 were acquired, currently in reserve.
AMX-30 French AMX-30 Desert Storm.jpg  France AMX-30SA 250 in reserve

Infantry fighting vehicles[edit]

Model Image Origin Variant Quantity Details
M2 Bradley 3rd Infantry Division M2A2.jpg  United States M2A2 400[25] Principal IFV of the Saudi Army.[26]
AMX-10P AMX-10-IMG 1468.jpg  France 500[25] 500[27] were bought from France in 1974; most are now stored as a reserve.

Armored personnel carriers[edit]

Model Image Origin Variant Quantity Details
M113 M113A1-latrun-1.jpg  United States /  Turkey Many 1,112 364 had been upgraded in Turkey.[26]
Al-Masmak  Saudi Arabia 2,750 x[28][29]

Utility vehicles[edit]

Model Image Origin Variant Quantity Details
HMMWV Saudi Arabian Humvee.jpg  United States various configurations 15,000+
Oshkosh M-ATV M153 CROWS mounted on a U.S. Army M-ATV.jpg  United States Many 1859 Saudi Arabia began negotiations for an order for an undisclosed number of M-ATVs Saudi Arabia received an estimated 1859
URO VAMTAC Urovesa Vamtac Armored.png  Spain 300 [30]
CUCV II[31] 1984 M1009 CUCV.jpg  United States 2,000+

Artillery and missile systems[edit]

Model Image Origin Type Variant Quantity Details
M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) Vehicles at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan MOD 45148148.jpg  United States MRL 270mm 50
Astros II MLRS Avibras ASTROS-II SS-30.JPEG  Brazil MRL 127mm SS-30 72
PLZ-45 PLZ45155mm Howitzer.jpg  People's Republic of China Self-propelled howitzer 155mm 54[32]
M109 howitzer Two Egyptian M-109 howitzers.JPEG  United States Self-propelled howitzer 155mm M109A5
M109A2
600
AMX-GCT AuF1 of Saudi Arabia.JPEG  France Self-propelled howitzer 155mm 51
M198 howitzer 4-14 Marines in Fallujah.jpg  United States Towed Howitzer 155mm 42
FH-70 FH 70 155mm gun (6065127314).jpg  United Kingdom Towed Howitzer 155mm 40
M114 howitzer USArmy M114 howitzer.jpg  United States Towed Howitzer 155mm M114A1 50 All are stored in reserve.
M102 howitzer M102 howitzer.jpg  United States Towed Howitzer 105mm 140[26]
M101 howitzer M101-105mm-howitzer-camp-pendleton-20050326.jpg  United States Towed Howitzer 105mm M101A1 100 All are stored in reserve.

Army aviation[edit]

Model Image Origin Type Variant Quantity Details
AH-64 Apache Westland apache wah-64d longbow zj206 arp.jpg  United States Attack Helicopter AH-64D 94 A further 29 AH-64D Longbow III requested for more than $1.2bn.
Boeing AH-6 SAS 2010 Boeing AH-6.JPG  United States Armed Scout Helicopter 0 36 on order for Saudi Arabian National Guard
Bell 406 OH-58D 2.jpg  United States Scout Helicopter Bell 406CS 13
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk Blackhawk.jpg  United States Transport Helicopter UH-60L 37 A further 24 UH-60L requested for $350m.
Sikorsky S-70 040327-pb-firehawk-17-16.jpg  United States Medevac Helicopter S-70A1L 8
Boeing CH-47F Chinook 080301-F-2207D-394.jpg  United States Cargo Helicopter CH-47F 48 Ordered in December 2016.
Aeryon Scout[33] SUAS - Aeryon Scout.jpg  Canada Miniature UAV 10
Saqr,2,3,4[34]  Saudi Arabia Unmanned aerial vehicle  ?  ?
CAIG Wing Loong [35][36] Wing Loong.jpg  People's Republic of China MALE
UCAV
Pterodactyl
Wing Loong II
300[37]
Denel Dynamics Seeker [38][39] A Seeker 400 drone, manufactured by South African company Denel Dynamics, flies over Cape Town Stadium..jpg  South Africa
 Saudi Arabia[40]
UCAV Seeker 400  ?
EMT Luna X-2000[41] LUNA UAV.jpg  Federal Republic of Germany
 Saudi Arabia[42]
Unmanned aerial vehicle  ?  ?
Selex ES Falco[43] Salon du Bourget 20090619 227.jpg  Italian Republic Unmanned aerial vehicle  ?  ?
  • (Anti-Air systems belong to Air Defense Force)

Royal Saudi Land Forces Ranks[edit]

Land Officer Corps[edit]

Equivalent
NATO Code
OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) & Student officer
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia
(Edit)
No equivalent Fariq Awwal Fariq Liwa Amid Aqid Muqaddam Raid Naqib Mulazim Awwal Mulazim 08.RSA-OC.svg
General
(فريق أول)
Lieutenant
General
(فريق)
Major
General
(لواء)
Brigadier(عميد) Colonel
(عقيد)
Lieutenant
Colonel
(مقدم)
Major
(رائد)
Captain
(نقيب)
First
Lieutenant
(ملازم أول)
Second
Lieutenant
(ملازم)
Officer Cadet

Land Enlisted Corps[edit]

Junior enlisted Non-commissioned Officers (NCOs) Warrant Officers (WOs)
Private
(Pte)
First Class Private
(Pfc)
Corporal
(Cpl)
Vice Sergeant
(VSgt)
Sergeant
(Sgt)
Staff Sergeant
(SSgt)
Warrant Officer
(WO)
E-1/2 E-3 E-4 E-5/6 E-7 E-8 E-9
No Chevron
(Arabic: جندي Jundi‎)
One Chevron
(Arabic: جندي أول Jundi Awaal‎)
Two Chevrons
(Arabic: عريف Areef‎)
Three Chevrons
(Arabic: وكيل رقيب Wakil Raqib‎)
Four Chevrons
(Arabic: رقيب Raqib‎)
Four Chevrons with stripe
(Arabic: رقيب أول Raqib Awaal‎)
stripe
(Arabic: رئيس رقباء Rais Ruquba‎)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wynbrandt, James (2004). A Brief History of Saudi Arabia (1st ed.). p. 353. Retrieved Oct 10, 2016. 
  2. ^ Royal Saudi Land Forces.
  3. ^ Pollack, Arabs at War
  4. ^ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-04-21/the-2-trillion-project-to-get-saudi-arabia-s-economy-off-oil
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ a b Royal Saudi Land Forces
  7. ^ a b Accéder Google Francais
  8. ^ https://sites.google.com/site/worldinventory/wiw_me_saudiarabia
  9. ^ "MP5 Sub Machine Gun". mic.org.sa. Retrieved 2017-04-25. 
  10. ^ "G3 Semi-Automatic Rifle". mic.org.sa. Retrieved 2017-04-25. 
  11. ^ "Rifle G36". mic.org.sa. Retrieved 2017-04-25. 
  12. ^ https://sites.google.com/site/worldinventory/wiw_me_saudiarabia
  13. ^ https://sites.google.com/site/worldinventory/wiw_me_saudiarabia
  14. ^ https://sites.google.com/site/worldinventory/wiw_me_saudiarabia.0
  15. ^ https://sites.google.com/site/worldinventory/wiw_me_saudiarabia
  16. ^ https://sites.google.com/site/worldinventory/wiw_me_saudiarabia
  17. ^ https://sites.google.com/site/worldinventory/wiw_me_saudiarabia
  18. ^ https://sites.google.com/site/worldinventory/wiw_me_saudiarabia
  19. ^ https://sites.google.com/site/worldinventory/wiw_me_saudiarabia
  20. ^ https://sites.google.com/site/worldinventory/wiw_me_saudiarabia
  21. ^ https://sites.google.com/site/worldinventory/wiw_me_saudiarabia
  22. ^ https://sites.google.com/site/worldinventory/wiw_me_saudiarabia
  23. ^ a b "The 2006 Saudi Shopping Spree: $2.9B to Upgrade M1 Abrams Tank Fleet". DefenseIndustryDaily.com. 4 January 2011. Archived from the original on October 25, 2006. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  24. ^ "Saudi Arabia Orders 69 More M1A2S Abrams Heavy Tanks". Deagel.com, 8 January 2013.
  25. ^ a b c "Royal Saudi Land Forces Equipment". Global Security. Retrieved 2015-04-09. 
  26. ^ a b c Military Balance 2005- page 135
  27. ^ Cite error: The named reference History was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  28. ^ "Al-Masmak Masmak Nyoka Mk2 MRAP Mine Resistant Armored Personnel Carrier technical data sheet - Army Recognition - Army Recognition". Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  29. ^ "Saudi Al-Masmak Achieves the Highest Protection Level Recorded for MRAP". Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  30. ^ Administrator. "30 VAMTAC's to Saudi Arabia". Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  31. ^ "Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle: CUCV II". Olive-drab.com. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  32. ^ Chinese Guns Conquer Arabia
  33. ^ "picture of Saudi Army with Aeryon Scout". 
  34. ^ [2]
  35. ^ Fischer Junior, Richard. "Kazakhstan purchases two Chinese Wing-Loong UCAVs" (7 June 2016). IHS Jane's 360. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  36. ^ Atherton, Kelsey (22 June 2016). "Chinese-made drone crashes in Pakistan". Popular Science. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  37. ^ "??300?????????????????". 
  38. ^ "After Obama snub, Saudis tap up South Africa for armed drone" (2 April 2013). the Commentator. 
  39. ^ Gertz, Bill (2 April 2013). "Saudi Arabia buying South African armed drone". Free Beacon. 
  40. ^ "Riyadh's secret armed drone programme". Intelligence Online. 2013-03-27. 
  41. ^ Amnesty International. "Der Kunde ist K?nig" (in German). Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  42. ^ Lake, Jon. "Saudi Arabia shows Luna [IDX15D4]" (26 February 2015). janes. 
  43. ^ http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/farnborough-air-show/2012-07-13/falco-gains-mystery-customer-evo-prepped-flight

External links[edit]