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

Kuwait Airways signs with Safran Nacelles

Safran Nacelles has been selected by Kuwait Airways to provide unscheduled maintenance services coverage and asset management for thrust reversers on the airlineís Airbus A330 jetliner fleet powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700

Gulf Airís on time punctuality garners top ranking in 2017

Gulf Air has been independently ranked by UK aviation analysts OAG the third most punctual airline in 2017, amongst Middle East and African airlines, with an average on-time performance (OTP) of 80.22%.

Aircraft Interiors Middle East and MRO Middle East opens today

The Aircraft Interiors Middle East and MRO Middle East events opened today in Dubai.

Emirates SkyCargo offers enhanced protection for pharmaceutical cargo

Emirates SkyCargo, has stepped up its commitment to securely transport temperature sensitive pharmaceutical shipments with the introduction of pharma corridors offering additional protection across selected stations in its

Boeing's 787-10 Dreamliner cleared for commercial service by Federal Aviation Administration

Boeing has announced the 787-10 Dreamliner received an amended type certificate (ATC) from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), clearing the aircraft for commercial service.

Oman's new generation takes off

The Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) has inducted the first of its newly acquired Eurofighter Typhoon swing-role fighters and BAE Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers, ushering in a new era for one of the UKís oldest and closest regional allies. Jon

Aviation Africa SK18418
See us at
Global Aerospace BT2018Saudi Future Airports BT150318Abu Dhabi AirExpo BT2018BIAS BT271017161118Istanbul Airshow BT22018ArabianTravelMkBT250418MEBAA BT2018Aviation Africa BT18418SOFEX BT2018AIME BT1204240118