Saudi Arabia


A regional power, Saudi Arabia, led by the al Saud dynasty, was founded in 1932. Sitting atop the world’s largest proven oil reserves, the Kingdom is often described as a crucial ally for the United States. However, the Saudis have long exported their radical Wahhabi ideology abroad, fomenting extremism among Muslim communities across the globe. In 1990, after Iraq invaded Kuwait, Saudi Arabia allowed foreign troops to deploy to its territory, prompting an outcry from Saudi radicals, including the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Saudi Arabia continues to struggle with its extremist threat, with failed attempts to re-educate terrorists who very often return to the battlefield.  Internally, the country also has unresolved problems with its repressed Shia minority in the Eastern Province, who have erupted in protest sporadically during the Arab Spring. Some are believed to be inspired by Iran, which harbors a longstanding animosity for their Sunni regional rivals.  Saudi Arabia has the largest defense budget in the Middle East and became the world’s largest arms importer in 2014.

  • GDP
    $727.3 Billion
  • Military EXHD
    9.1% of GDP
  • Fit for Service
  • Population

Lockheed Awarded $12 Million to Provide Logistics Support for Saudi and Polish Mk 92 Fire Control Systems

Lockheed Martin Corp., Moorestown, New Jersey, is being awarded an $11,815,569 cost-plus-fixed fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity modification to a previously awarded contract (N63394-13-D-1301) to incorporate an additional quantity of labor hours procured under the basic contract in accordance with the maximum quantity limitations identified in the contract.  The work to be performed will provide engineering and logistics […]


UK-Supplied Precision Weapons Prove Popular in Saudi-Led Yemen Campaign

The Royal Saudi Air Force has used British-supplied cruise missiles against Houthi rebels in Yemen, Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has confirmed. The Storm Shadow long-range cruise missile was among a list of British-supplied precision-guided weapons named by Fallon as having been used against the Yemeni rebels since the two-year-long conflict erupted following a Houthi coup […]


Sikorsky Awarded $92 Million for Eight More UH-60Ms to Saudi Arabia

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Connecticut, was awarded a $91,832,211 modification (P00384) to foreign military sales contract W58RGZ-12-C-0008 (Saudi Arabia) for exercising an option for eight utility helicopter aircraft. Work will be performed in Stratford, Connecticut, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2017. Fiscal 2010 and 2016 other funds in the amount of $91,832,211 […]


Northrop Grumman Awarded $11 Million to Provide Joint Threat Emitter Spares to Saudi Arabia

Northrop Grumman Amherst Systems, Buffalo, New York, has been awarded a $11,022,355 modification (P00021) to previously awarded contract FA8210-13-C-0001 for additional quantities of provisional spares for the Joint Threat Emitter. The location of performance is Buffalo, New York.  This modification involves foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia. The spares work is expected to be completed […]


Honeywell International Awarded $13 Million to Provide Embedded GPS/INS Systems to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Others

Honeywell International Inc., Clearwater, Florida, was awarded a $12,984,800 modification (P4V06) to foreign military sales (Qatar, Netherlands, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico) contract FA8540-13-D-0002 for procurement of 139 production units of embedded global positioning system/inertial navigation system.  Work will be performed in the aforementioned countries with an estimated completion date of June 1, 2019.  Fiscal […]


Al Raha Group Awarded $356 Million to Provide Support Services for Saudi F-15s

Al Raha Group for Technical Services, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has been awarded a $355,903,318 firm-fixed-price contract for F-15 Saudi Arabia integrated fleet support services. Contractor will provide comprehensive material management of unclassified spares, support equipment, and support services required to support base stand-ups and continued F-15 and F-15SA Royal Saudi Air Force flying operations. Work […]


Physical Optics Awarded $75 Million to Provide Data Transfer Systems for U.S., Saudi, Australian, and Danish Helicopters

Physical Optics Corp.,* Torrance, California, is being awarded a $75,953,328 fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of Advanced Data Transfer System components for UH-1Y, AH-1Z, MH-60R, MH-60S, and H-53K aircraft for the Navy.  In addition, this contract provides for the procurement of these components for the governments of Australia, Denmark, and Saudi Arabia […]


The Saudi-led Coalition Is Not Ready to Fight the Islamic State

President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter visited Saudi Arabia last week hoping to reassure nervous Gulf allies that American security commitments remain in force in the wake of last year’s Iran nuclear deal. In exchange, the White House was hoping to encourage the Gulf states to play a more active role in the […]


The Mideast’s Precision Guided Arms Race

Precision guided munitions (PGMs) encompass a growing range of bombs and missiles designed to destroy targets on land, at sea, or in the air. While platforms like fighters, armored vehicles, and warships often receive more attention, their lethality is almost negligible if not bolstered by advanced munitions. With minor updates, today’s PGMs allow even older […]


The Saudis’ New Warships Are Missing Something

The U.S. State Department approved an $11.25-billion sale last month of four Lockheed Martin “Multi-Mission Surface Combatants,” or MMSCs, for the Royal Saudi Navy. While the announcement is only for a “possible” purchase, the deal is likely to move forward given Saudi Arabia’s need to update its aging Persian Gulf fleet. The sale comes as […]


Containment: The Gulf States’ Game Plan for Yemen

The Saudi-led international coalition operating in Yemen announced late last month it had ended the first phase of its nearly month-long campaign in the country. Though the coalition fell short of its stated goal of returning Yemen’s internationally recognized government to power, it insists that in removing the threat of spillover to Yemen’s neighbors, it […]


IDEX 2015: Middle East Arms Market Remains Strong

With the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) and an increasingly aggressive Iran, Gulf Arab states are spending billions to improve their defenses and better protect their energy infrastructure. Nowhere has this been more evident than last month’s International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi. The region’s largest defense exhibition attracted officials from […]


An Edge in the Desert

Weapons are pouring into the Middle East at an unprecedented rate. The Pentagon recently announced that it would sell six tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft to Israel for $1.3 billion, American hardware (including Apache helicopters) is being rushed to the Iraqi government to help in its battle against al Qaeda, and Washington has also restored military aid to Egypt after a brief hiatus. But Uncle […]

Category Name

Active Armaments
On Order
Air Defense Systems 1,696* (0)

Aircraft 735* (381)

Artillery 487 (136)

Ground Vehicles 7,122* (1,509)

Guided Munitions 20,633* (24,959*)

Personnel 233,500 (0)

Ships 28 (105)