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Royal Saudi Land Forces
القوات البرية الملكية السعودية
Emblem of the Royal Saudi Land Forces
Founded1744 de facto
January 13, 1902 de jure [1]
CountrySaudi Arabia
TypeLand forces
RoleGround-based warfare
Part ofArmed Forces
Garrison/HQMinistry Of Defense
Motto(s) "الله أكبر"
God is the greatest
Anniversaries13 January; 122 years ago
EquipmentList of equipment
EngagementsList of wars
Lt. Gen. Fahd Al-Mutair
Faisal of Saudi Arabia
Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia
Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud (1755–1834)
Abdulaziz bin Muhammad Al Saud
Abdullah bin Saud Al Saud
Faisal al-Duwaish
Dhaydan bin Hithlain
Sultan bin Bajad Al Otaibi
Sultan bin Abdulaziz
War flag

The Saudi Arabian Army, officially the Royal Saudi Land Forces (Arabic: القُوَّاتُ البَرِّيَّةُ المَلَكِيَّة السُّعُودِيَّة, romanizedAl-Quwwat al-Bariyah al-Malakiyah as-Su'udiyah), is the principle land warfare branch of the Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia. It is part of the Saudi Ministry of Defense, which is one of the two military departments of the government of Saudi Arabia, together with the Ministry of National Guard.[3]


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 20th Brigade of the Royal Saudi Land Forces display a 155 mm (6 in) AMX-30 AuF1, right, and AMX-10P infantry combat vehicles

The modern Army of Arabia has its roots in the Saudi state, which was dating to 1744,[1] and is considered to be the birth year of the Saudi army. As of 1901 the ground forces was re-established as a separate branch of the armed forces with the starting of the modern Saudi state. and it is considered the oldest branches of the Saudi Arabia's military.[4]

Historically, the MoW was created to unify the armies of the state under one military power. It was existed until 1933, when it was renamed "Agency of Defence" under the Finance Minister administration as Agent. By 1944, the Agency was developed (MoD) and incorporated into the Armed Forces Inspectorate.[5][6]

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 hostile's actions, and as well as the Gulf War in 1990. In the year 2000, Saudi Arabia's government spent billions of dollars to expand the Saudi military including the Army.[citation needed] The current minister of defense is Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who was appointed on 23 January 2015.[7]

A Saudi M60A3 tank being transferred

Wars involved

Main article: List of wars involving Saudi Arabia

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


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

The combat strength of the Saudi Army consists of four armoured, five mechanized, two light infantry brigades, one airborne brigade, the Al-Saif Al-Ajrab guard brigade, the Saudi Royal Guard Regiment (three battalions), three helicopter groups, and three artillery brigades.[12] In 2004, it was reported that the RSLF 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 deploy[ed] the 20th Mechanized Brigade and 8th Mechanized Brigade at King Khalid Military City near Hafr al Batin. The 10th Mechanized Brigade is deploy[ed] at Sharawrah, which is near the border with Yemen and about 150 kilometers from Zamak."[13]

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 the separate Saudi Arabian National Guard also limits the pool of potential army recruits.[3]

Armored Corps

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.[14]


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.[14]


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.[citation needed]

Airborne Units and Special Security Forces

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.[citation needed]

Artillery Corps


Saudi Arabian Army Structure (click to enlarge).


RSLF officer

Rank group General / flag officers Senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
 Saudi Arabian Army[15]
Fariq Awwal Fariq Liwa Amid Aqid Muqaddam Raid Naqib Mulazim Awwal Mulazim
فريق أول‎‎
Fariq 'awal
ملازم أول
Mulazim awwal

RSLF enlisted

Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
 Saudi Arabian Army[15]
No insignia
رئيس رقباء
Rayiys ruqaba'
رقيب أول
Raqib 'awal
وكيل رقيب
Wakil raqib
جندي أول
Jundiun awwal


Main article: List of equipment of the Saudi Arabian Army

See also


  1. ^ a b Historical Dictionary of Saudi Arabia (15 March 2020). Historical Dictionary of Saudi Arabia. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 480. ISBN 9781538119808. Archived from the original on 14 February 2023. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  2. ^ IISS (2021). The Military Balance 2021. Routledge. p. 363. ISBN 978-1-032-01227-8.
  3. ^ a b Global Security 2006.
  4. ^ Wynbrandt, James (2004). A Brief History of Saudi Arabia (1st ed.). p. 353. ISBN 9781438108308. Archived from the original on August 8, 2017. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  5. ^ Lebkicher, Roy (1952). The Arabia of Ibn Saud. R.F. Moore Company. Archived from the original on 2023-02-14. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
  6. ^ "Middle East: Saudi Arabia". The World Factbook. Langley, Virginia: Central Intelligence Agency. 17 October 2018. Archived from the original on 19 March 2021. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  7. ^ "The $2 Trillion Project to Get Saudi Arabia's Economy Off Oil". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 2016-10-15. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  8. ^ Vassiliev, Alexei (March 2013). King Faisal: Personality, Faith and Times - Alexei Vassiliev - Google Książki. ISBN 9780863567612. Archived from the original on 2023-02-14. Retrieved 2020-10-20.
  9. ^ Halliday, Fred (2002). Revolution and Foreign Policy: The Case of South Yemen, 1967-1987. Cambridge University Press. p. 160. ISBN 9780521891646. Archived from the original on 2023-02-14. Retrieved 2020-04-09.
  10. ^ O'Ballance 1979, pp. 28–370.
  11. ^ Asher, Dani (2014). Inside Israel's Northern Command: The Yom Kippur War on the Syrian Border. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. pp. 415–418. ISBN 978-0813167374.
  12. ^ IISS 2022, p. 366.
  13. ^ Cordesman & Obaid 2004, p. 50.
  14. ^ a b "Accéder Google Francais".
  15. ^ a b "الرتب" [Ranks]. rslf.gov.sa (in Arabic). Saudi Arabian Army. Archived from the original on 22 October 2017.