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Saudi Arabian Army

Royal Saudi Land Force
القوات البرية الملكية السعودية
250px
Royal Saudi Land Force emblem
Founded 1917
Country Saudi Arabia
Allegiance Saudi Arabia
Branch Army
Type Land Force
Role

Land warfare

  • active= 75000[1]
Part of Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia
Nickname RSLF
Motto "God is the greatest"
Commanders
Chief of Army Staff General Eid bin Awad Al-Shalawi
Insignia
Flag 200px
File:DF-ST-92-08022-C.jpg
A column of M-113 APCs and other military vehicles of the Royal Saudi Land Force travels along a channel cleared of mines during Operation Desert Storm., Kuwait - 1 March 1991.
File:AuF1 and AMX-10P (Royal Saudi Land Force).JPEG
The 20th Brigade of the Royal Saudi Land Force displays a Script error: No such module "convert". GCT self-propelled gun, left, and AMX-10P infantry combat vehicles
File:RSLF Tank.JPG
A Saudi M60A3 tank being transferred
File:Saudi UH-60 Desert Storm.JPEG
Saudi Arabian army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter during Operation Desert Shield.
File:Saudi Arabian Humvee.jpg
A Saudi Arabian (HMMWV) with a QCB machine gun mounted on top depart for the seaport of Mogadishu in Somalia

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 75,000.[1] The Chief of the Saudi General Staff until 2011 was Field Marshal Saleh Al-Muhaya.

History

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.[citation needed]

Wars involving Saudi Army:

File:Saudi Army in Jizan.jpg
Saudi Army in Jizan, November 2009

Structure

File:USMC-120517-M-KU932-016.jpg
US Marines training members of the Saudi Arabian 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.[2]

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.[2]

Armor

  • 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.[3]

Mechanized

  • 6th Mechanized Brigade
  • 8th Mechanized Brigade
  • 10th Mechanized Brigade
  • 11th Mechanized Brigade
  • 20th Mechanized Brigade

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 Script error: No such module "convert". mortars.[3]

Infantry

  • 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.

Airborne

  • 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.

Artillery Battalions

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

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

File:Saudi Army.png
Saudi Arabian Army Structure (click to enlarge).

Officers

Enlisted Ranks

Enlisted Ranks

Main equipment

Infantry weapons

Small Weapon

Model Image Type Quantity Acquired Origin Notes
Browning Hi-Power 150px Semi-automatic pistol 23x15px Belgium
Glock 17 150px Semi-automatic pistol 23x15px Austria
FN P90 150px Submachine gun 23x15px Belgium
H&K MP5 150px Submachine gun 23x15px Germany
Heckler & Koch G36 150px Assault Rifle 23x15px Germany
Heckler & Koch G3 150px Assault Rifle 23x15px Germany
M4 carbine 150px Assault Rifle 23x15px United States
Steyr AUG 150px Assault Rifle 23x15px Austria
AK-103 150px Assault Rifle 23x15px Russia
AUG A1 HBAR 150px Automatic Rifle 23x15px Austria
FN MAG 150px General-purpose machine gun 23x15px Belgium
M2 Browning 150px Heavy machine gun 23x15px United States

Grenade, rocket, anti-tank, and missile systems

Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin Notes
M203 Single shot grenade launcher 23x15px United States
FGM-148 Javelin Anti-tank guided missile 23x15px United States
Swingfire Anti-tank guided missile 23x15px United Kingdom
Vickers Vigilant Anti-tank missile 500 23x15px United Kingdom
M47 Dragon Anti-tank missile 4,692 23x15px United States
AGM-114 Hellfire Anti-tank guided missile 2,954 23x15px United States
HOT Anti-tank guided missile 3,500 23x15px France
23x15px West Germany
HOT 2 Anti-tank guided missile 249 23x15px France
23x15px West Germany
Bill 2 SACLOS Anti-tank missile 200 23x15px Sweden
SS.11 Anti-tank guided missile 2,000 23x15px France
BGM-71 TOW Anti-tank guided missile 10,738 23x15px United States
BGM-71C ITOW Anti-tank guided missile 2,538 23x15px United States
BGM-71D TOW-2 Anti-tank guided missile 6,210 23x15px United States
BGM-71E TOW-2A Anti-tank guided missile 5,131 23x15px United States

Mortars

Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin Notes
M224 Mortar Mortar N/A N/A 23x15px United States
Brandt 60mm LR Gun-mortar Mortar N/A N/A 23x15px France
MO-120-RT-61 120mm Mortar 200 200 23x15px France
2R2M 120MM Mortar 28 28 23x15px France
M30 107 mm Mortar Mortar N/A 23x15px United States

Vehicles

Tanks

Model Image Origin Variant Quantity Details
M1 Abrams 150px 23x15px United States M1A2SEP 442 Saudi Arabia bought 373 M1A2 tanks,[4] with further 69 more M1A2SEP tanks ordered on 8 January 2013 and delivered by 31 July 2014.[5] Later Saudi Arabia decided to upgrade all of M1A2 variants to M1A2SEP configuration.[4]
M60 Patton 150px 23x15px United States M60A3 400[6] 435 were acquired. Officially it will be moved to a reserve status but many battalions still operate this tank.
AMX-30 150px 23x15px France 145[6] 250[7] were bought between 1973–1974. Now it serves as a reserve tank. Saudi Arabia has been retiring AMX-30 from the stock by selling it to numerous other countries, like Tunisia.

Infantry fighting vehicles

Model Image Origin Variant Quantity Details
M2 Bradley 150px 23x15px United States M2A2 400[6] Principled IFV of the Saudi Army.[8]
AMX-10P 150px 23x15px France 200[6] 500[9] were bought form France in 1974; most are now stored as a reserve.

Armored Personnel Carriers

Model Image Origin Variant Quantity Details
M113 150px 23x15px United States / 23x15px Turkey Many 1,112 364 had been upgraded in Turkey.[8]
TPz Fuchs 150px 23x15px West Germany NBC reconnaissance
Ambulance
CP version
175
Al-Masmak 150px 23x15px Saudi Arabia 2,750 x[10][11]
Nexter Aravis 150px 23x15px France 200 [12]
Panhard M3 150px 23x15px France 150

Armored Car

Model Image Origin Variant Quantity Details
V-150 150px 23x15px United States 579
Panhard AML-60/90 150px 23x15px France 235 [8]

Artillery and Missile Systems

Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force

Model Image Origin Type Variant Quantity Details
M270 150px 23x15px United States MRL 270mm 250
Astros II MLRS 150px 23x15px Brazil MRL 127mm SS-30 72
PLZ-45 150px 23x15px People's Republic of China Self-propelled howitzer 155mm 54[13]
M109 howitzer 150px 23x15px United States Self-propelled howitzer 155mm M109A5
M109A2
48
110
AMX-GCT 150px 23x15px France Self-propelled howitzer 155mm 51
M198 howitzer 150px 23x15px United States Towed Howitzer 155mm 42
FH-70 150px 23x15px United Kingdom Towed Howitzer 155mm 40
M114 howitzer 150px 23x15px United States Self-propelled howitzer 155mm M114A1 50 All are stored in reserve.
M102 howitzer 150px 23x15px United States Towed Howitzer 105mm 140[8]
M101 howitzer 150px 23x15px United States Towed Howitzer 105mm M101A1 100 All are stored in reserve.

Air Defense

Saudi Arabia has a separate branch of the military designed to deal exclusively with air defense; it belongs neither to the army nor the air force.

Utility Vehicles

Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin Notes
HMMWV Light utility vehicle 15,000+ 23x15px United States
URO VAMTAC Light utility vehicle 30[14] 23x15px Spain
CUCV II[15] Light utility vehicle  ? 23x15px United States

Army Aviation

Model Image Origin Type Variant Quantity Details
AH-64 Apache 150px 23x15px United States Attack Helicopter AH-64D 82 A further 29 AH-64D Longbow III requested for more than $1,200m.
Bell 406 150px 23x15px United States Scout Helicopter Bell 406CS 13
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk 150px 23x15px United States Transport Helicopter UH-60L 37 A further 24 UH-60L requested for $350m.
Sikorsky S-70 150px 23x15px United States Medevac Helicopter S-70A1L 8
Boeing CH-47 Chinook 150px 23x15px United States Cargo Helicopter  ?  ?
Model Type Quantity Origin Comments Notes
Aeryon Scout[16] Miniature UAV 4 23x15px Canada
Saqr,2,3,4[17] Miniature UAV 28 23x15px Saudi Arabia
  • (Anti-Air systems belong to Air Defense Force)

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Center for Strategic and International Studies [1]
  2. ^ a b Royal Saudi Land Forces
  3. ^ a b Accéder Google Francais
  4. ^ a b "The 2006 Saudi Shopping Spree: $2.9B to Upgrade M1 Abrams Tank Fleet". DefenseIndustryDaily.com. 4 January 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2011. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Saudi Arabia Orders 69 More M1A2S Abrams Heavy Tanks". Deagel.com, 8 January 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d "Royal Saudi Land Force Equipment". Global Security. Retrieved 2015-04-09. 
  7. ^ "American Alliance Policy in the Middle East". Retrieved 2015-04-09. 
  8. ^ a b c d Military Balance 2005- page 135
  9. ^ Cite error: The named reference History was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  10. ^ "Al-Masmak Masmak Nyoka Mk2 MRAP Mine Resistant Armored Personnel Carrier technical data sheet - Army Recognition - Army Recognition". Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Saudi Al-Masmak Achieves the Highest Protection Level Recorded for MRAP". Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "- " "". Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  13. ^ Chinese Guns Conquer Arabia
  14. ^ Administrator. "30 VAMTAC's to Saudi Arabia". Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  15. ^ "Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle: CUCV II". Olive-drab.com. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  16. ^ "picture of Saudi Army with Aeryon Scout". 
  17. ^ [2]

External links

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