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

Boeing Awarded $12 Million to Provide Harpoon and SLAM-ER Missile Parts to the U.S. Navy, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Others

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is being awarded a $12,399,305 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of spares in support of Harpoon and Stand-Off Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) for the Navy (83); and the governments of Saudi Arabia (143), Australia (5,734), Canada (50), Japan (96), Malaysia (17), Turkey (11), India (24), Taiwan (3), and […]


Boeing Awarded $18 Million to Provide Radars for Saudi F-15SA Fighters

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, has been awarded a $18,290,920 modification (14) to previously awarded contract F33657‐01‐D‐0026‐RJ80 for Royal Saudi Air Force AN/APG-63(V) 3 radar in F-15SA aircraft. Work will be performed predominantly at Forest, Mississippi, and is expected to be complete by March 31, 2017. This contract is 100 percent foreign military sales […]


Raytheon Awarded $202 Million to Provide Patriot Engineering Services for Israel, Kuwait, Qatar, Others

Raytheon Co., Andover, Massachusetts, was awarded a $202,185,977 firm-fixed-price, level-of-effort, foreign military sales contract (Germany, Israel, Japan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Netherlands, Qatar, Spain, and Taiwan) for engineering services for the PATRIOT weapon systems program.  Bids were solicited via the Internet with one received. Work will be performed in multiple locations with an […]


Lockheed Awarded $7.6 Million to Provide C-130J Spare Parts and Support to Saudi Arabia

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Marietta, Georgia, has been awarded a not-to-exceed $7,568,460 undefinitized contract action for the Saudi Arabian C-130J spares and support elements program. Contractor will provide contract maintenance, logistics support, repair of repairables, consumable replenishment spares, integrated logistics support and engineering technical support. Work will be performed at Royal Saudi Air Force Base, […]


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 737* (427)

Artillery 487 (136)

Ground Vehicles 7,122* (1,509)

Guided Munitions 25,533* (24,959*)

Personnel 233,500 (0)

Ships 34* (103*)