Tri-Service

Assessing Saudi Arabia's Military Might

Boasting by far the best-equipped armed forces in the Gulf region, Saudi Arabia’s military is a force to be reckoned with. Having last year...

Boasting by far the best-equipped armed forces in the Gulf region, Saudi Arabia’s military is a force to be reckoned with.
 
Having last year led coalition air strikes against Houthi rebels in war-torn Yemen and amid deteriorating relations with Iran, we've taken an in-depth look at the Saudi forces to see how they rank against regional neighbours and the global players.
 
The Saudi military numbers 227,000 troops, including 75,000 in the army, 13,500 in the navy and 20,000 in the air force. Some 16,000 personnel are committed to air defences, 2,500 are responsible for strategic missiles and 100,000 man the National Guard, according to the IISS Military Balance, 2015.
 
The Saudi Army also has 600 heavy tanks, 780 light armoured vehicles and 1,423 armoured troop carriers.
 
 
Its air force is equipped with 313 fighter jets, including F-15s, Tornados and Eurofighter Typhoons, as well as helicopters
 
 
With all this firepower, and 150,000 troops ready to mobilise, it’s no wonder the world’s eyes are turned to the Gulf state.
 
 
So we've analysed what firepower Saudi Arabia’s has at its disposal, and how this shapes up to other military forces from around the world.  
 
According to a study released in 2015 by U.S. based analysts IHS Jane’s, the Kingdom, which is a leading player among the Gulf monarchies, was the world's biggest importer of defence equipment last year.