The first of three operational aviation brigades for the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) is set to become fully operational when it receives its Boeing AH-6i armed reconnaissance and light attack helicopters later this year, a senior US Army official said on 1 February.

Speaking at the IQPC International Military Helicopter conference in London, Major General Frank Muth, program manager, US Army Office of the Program Manager SANG, said that, with 24 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk and 12 Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters already delivered, the planned arrival of the first 12 of 24 AH-6is in May (some nine months after the type was formally accepted by the service) will see the 1st Aviation Brigade fully stood up at Khashm Al An airfield near Riyadh.

“With the first helicopters delivered to the Ministry National Guard [MNG] Aviation Brigade in 2013, the SANG currently has 24 UH-60Ms and 12 AH-64Es. The 1st Aviation Brigade will be at full strength later this year when it receives the SANG’s initial 12 AH-6is in May. The 2nd Aviation Brigade will follow in 2019, and the 3rd Aviation Brigade in 2021,” Gen Muth said. […]