Useful Notes / Saudis with Sabers

The Saudi Armed Forces is composed of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Air Defense, and the Saudi Arabian National Guard. The first four report to the Ministry of Defense, the National Guard reports directly to the king. The Saudi military also had an intelligence service called Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah.

The Saudi military traces its descent to the army of Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud of the 1920s and 30s. It was originally composed of just a few hundred of Ibn Saud's followers, but during and after World War II, it grew thanks to British and American military help. The British influence in the Saudi Army is strong; the uniforms and rank badges of the Saudi military are adapted from the British.

Moreover, the oil revenues of the military enabled the Saudi military to be modernized in an extent not seen in other Middle Eastern militaries.

The Saudi military participated on the Arab side of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. It joined the First Gulf War due to its territory being invaded by Saddam Hussein. The Army and the National Guard put up an formidable defense in the Battle of Khafji and drove back the Iraqis. It also has a battery of Chinese made IRBMs, but this was denied by the Saudi government, and there is some suspicion by some analysts that they are planning to put nuclear warheads on them.

The Navy is the least known and allegedly least equipped of the services. However, it had also a British, American, and French supplied naval force capable of holding off naval assaults from other Gulf states (Iran for example).

The Air Force has acquired new Eurofighter Typhoons to supplement its fleet of Panavia Tornados and F-15s.

The National Guard is actually not a reserve, but a frontline force. It serves as a Home Guard cum Praetorian Guard, since it directly reports to the king. They also act as police if the local police forces are overwhelmed.

The Saudi military in Fiction

  • appears in The Kingdom (2007) as a Saudi National Guard general attempts to take over the protagonists' investigation to a terrorist attack.
  • Appears in Tom Clancy's Executive Orders where they along with the US Army fight the combined Iraqi and Iranian armies and try to retake King Khalid Military City which was occupied by the latter.