Royal Saudi Air Force

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= Royal Saudi Air Force


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start_date=
country= Saudi Arabia
allegiance=
branch=
type=
role=
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command_structure= Saudi Arabian Armed Forces
garrison=
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equipment=
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nickname= RSAF
motto=
core values=
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march=
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battles= Gulf War :
Desert Shield
Battle of Khafji
Desert Storm
anniversaries=
decorations=
battle_honours=
current_commander= Khalid bin Sultan
current_commander_label= Chief of Armed forces
ceremonial_chief=
ceremonial_chief_label=
colonel_of_the_regiment=
colonel_of_the_regiment_label=
notable_commanders= Sultan bin Salman

identification_symbol=
identification_symbol_label= RSAF Roundels
identification_symbol_2=
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aircraft_attack=
aircraft_bomber=
aircraft_electronic=
aircraft_fighter=
aircraft_interceptor=
aircraft_recon=
aircraft_patrol=
aircraft_trainer=
aircraft_transport=
The Royal Saudi Air Force ( _ar. القوات الجوية الملكية السعودية, "ArabDIN|Al Quwwat al Jawwiya al Malakhiah as Sa'udiya"), is the air force branch of Saudi Arabian armed forces. After the Israeli Air Force (900 aircraft) the RSAF has the second largest air combat capability in the Middle East. The RSAF has developed from a largely defensive military force into one with an advanced offensive capability. The RSAF maintains the third largest fleet of F-15's after the USAF and the JASDF.

The backbone of the RSAF today is the Boeing F-15 Eagle aircraft, with the Panavia Tornado also forming a major component. The Tornado and many other aircraft were delivered under the Al Yamamah contracts with British Aerospace (now BAE Systems). The RSAF ordered various weapons in the 1990s, including Sea Eagle anti-ship missiles, laser-guided bombs, and gravity bombs.

The RSAF announced its intention to purchase the Eurofighter Typhoon from BAE Systems in December 2005. On 18 August 2006 a memorandum of understanding was signed for 72 aircraft in a GB£6-10 billion deal. [ [http://www.forbes.com/afxnewslimited/feeds/afx/2005/12/22/afx2409446.html] - Forbes.com]

On the 17th September 2007 Saudi Arabia announced they had signed a £4.4bn deal with BAE for 72 Eurofighter Typhoons. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6998774.stm] - BBC.co.uk]

Recent information state that Saudi Arabia has decided to turn to other suppliers for its military equipment. In November 2007, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Russia and Saudi Arabia which may result in a purchase of up to 150 new Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters in a deal worth over 2.2 billion USD. The deal itself hasn't been signed yet but French manufacturers have confirmed that their orders have been canceled.

History

The RSAF was formed in the mid-1920s with British assistance. It was re-organized in 1950 and began to receive American assistance from 1952 including the use of Dhahran by the United States Air Force.

The Saudi forces are equipped with mainly western hardware. Main suppliers are the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Both the UK and the US are involved in training programs conducted in Saudi Arabia.For Middle Eastern standards the armed forces of Saudi Arabia are relatively small. Its strength however is derived from advanced technology and not from numerical superiority. This is why the armed forces are under a continuing modernization program. The backbone of the fighter force is formed by 134 Tornados from which a batch of 48 Tornado IDS was ordered in 1993 under the al-Yamamah II program and 72 F-15S aircraft delivered from the mid-90s that operate besides the 41 F-15C/D aircraft delivered in the early 90s. Aircraft training is executed on the Pilatus PC-9, BAe Hawk, Boeing F-15D Eagle and the Northrop F-5F Tiger II. The C-130 is the mainstay of the transport fleet and the Hercules is assisted by CASA CN-235s. Reconnaissance is performed by 17sq with their RF-5E and the Boeing E-3A is the Airborne Early Warning platform operated by 18sq.

The VIP support fleet consists of a wide variety of civil registered aircraft such as the Boeing B707, B737 and B747, Lockheed Tri-Stars, MD11s and G1159A as well as Lockheed L-100-30. The HZ- prefix used in the civilian registrations of these aircraft derived from the former name of the territory (Hejaz)

Divisions

The RSAF units are divided into Wings that are dispersed across the seven air bases:
* RSAF Wing 1 at Hafar Al-Batin
* RSAF Wing 2 at Taif
* RSAF Wing 3 at Dhahran
* RSAF Wing 4 at Riyadh
* RSAF Wing 5 at Khamis Mushayt
* RSAF Wing 6 at Al Kharj (Prince Sultan Air Base)
* RSAF Wing 7 at Tabuk
* RSAF Wing 8 at Jeddah

Units of the RSAF

* 1 Squadron (Royal Flight)
* 2 Squadron (F-15)
* 3 Squadron (F-5)
* 4 Squadron (C-130)
* 5 Squadron (F-15)
* 6 Squadron (F-15)
* 7 Squadron (Tornado IDS)
* 8 Squadron (Reims Cessna 172)
* 9 Squadron (PC-9)
* 12 Squadron (Bell 212)
* 13 Squadron (F-15)
* 14 Squadron (Helicopters)
* 15 Squadron (F-5)
* 16 Squadron (C-130)
* 18 Squadron (E-3/KE-3A)
* 19 Squadron (RE-3A)
* 21 Squadron (Hawk)
* 22 Squadron (PC-9)
* 29 Squadron (Tornado ADV)
* 32 Squadron (KC-130H)
* 34 Squadron (F-15)
* 35 Squadron (Jetstream)
* 44 Squadron (Bell 412)
* 55 Squadron (F-15)
* 75 Squadron (Tornado IDS)
* 79 Squadron (Tornado ADV)
* 83 Squadron (Tornado IDS)
* 88 Squadron (Hawk)
* 92 Squadron (F-15)
* 99 Squadron (Cougar)

Current aircraft inventory

Notes & References

ee also

*

External links

* [http://www.scramble.nl/sa.htm Order of Battle] at Scramble


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