Subscribe Free
in Defence

Saudi Arabia National Guard to launch air wing with $25bn helicopter purchase

Posted 28 November 2010 · Add Comment

Saudi Arabia's National Guard (SANG) is to be a key beneficiary of the mega arms deal with the USA and will directly lead to the creation of a new air arm.

Arabian Aerospace has learned that Riyadh will spent $25.6bn   on setting up the SANG Aviation Command through the purchase of 156 helicopters including Apache and Little Bird AH6 models..

Saudi has previously confirmed a requirement for 190 helicopters but it had previously been expected that these would be for the RSAF.

The National Guard heads the internal security within the Kingdom and is directly descended from King Abdul Aziz Al Saud’s Ikhwan (Brotherhood), or White Army as it was sometimes called. This was the King’s instrument for subduing and unifying the various disparate tribes of the Arabian Peninsula to form the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Once organized along tribal lines, and commanded by tribal sheiks today’s SANG continues to draw heavily for its members from select Bedouin tribes which have a record of unquestioning loyalty to the Crown. As a result of this history, the SANG has a long tradition of loyalty to both the nation and its ruling family.

SANG saw an Aviation Command added to its portfolio in 2006 but until now, had no aircraft to its name,

The 156 aircraft include 72 armed helicopters, which will be used for the defense of vital installations, including borders and oil infrastructure, and for supporting ground forces tasked with protecting such installations.

Unsurprisingly, the SANG aviation regiment will receive the 36 Boeing AH-6i Little Bird light attack helicopters included in the new arms deal. Unsurprisingly, as the light and simple AH-6i is a natural fit for a new air arm. These will carry Wescam MX-15Di (AN/AAQ-35) undernose turrets, containing EO targeting systems. The aircraft will be armed with GAU-19/A .50 caliber gun pods and will be supplied with launchers that will allow them to use the AGM-114R Hellfire II Anti-Tank Guided Missile.

More surprisingly, 36 of the 70 highly sophisticated Boeing AH-64D Block III Apaches likely to be supplied to Saudi Arabia will go to the Saudi Arabian National Guard (with 24 going to the Royal Saudi Land Forces and ten to the Royal Guard Regiment). Up to 20 of the Saudi Arabian National Guard Apaches will be equipped with the mast-mounted AN/APG-78 Longbow Fire Control Radar.

The US DoD has notified Congress of its intention to supply some 2,592 AGM-114R Hellfire II missile

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

UAE ops using Wing Loong drones

In recent years, the UAE has embraced a more active military role on the world stage, deploying forces in the Balkans and Afghanistan, as well as in Libya during the 2011 civil war. As Jon Lake reports, the nation has also played a major role

Emirates Group Security hosts visit by Dubai Police Chief

Emirates Group Security welcomed Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, commander-in-chief, Dubai Police at its headquarters on Sunday 26 March 2017.

EAG, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority launch junior educational programme

As part of the programme, 24 female students from Al Jawaher Primary School attended a reading session at Etihad Airways' Academy in Abu Dhabi, hosted by First Officer, Aisha Al Mansouri and Second Officer Fatima Al Zahery. The theme for

Oman Air launches four weekly flights to Nairobi

Oman Air has launched its new four times weekly flight from Muscat to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

PAS planning fleet modernisation this year

By Oscar Nkala| Egyptian airline Petroleum Air Services (PAS) says it will in 2017 invest up to US$80 million in a fleet modernisation programme that is aimed at replacing most of its old aircraft.

Etihad Airways commences Dreamliner services to Amman

Etihad Airways has started operating its state-of-the-art Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the Abu Dhabi – Amman route, as part of its daily schedules between the two capitals.

EBACE17 SK0103240517
See us at
Aeropodium BT2802240417EBACE17 BT0103240517