Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces

Royal Saudi Air Defense
الدِفَّاع الجوّي المَلكِيَّ السُّعُودِيَّ
Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces Logo2.svg
Emblem of the RSADF
Founded1930 (1930)[a]
Country Saudi Arabia
TypeAir defense
RoleAerial warfare
Part ofRoyal Armed Forces
  • GSP (as of 1981)[3]
HeadquartersRiyadh (central HQ)[3]
EngagementsAction of June 5, 1984
Gulf War
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
Lt. General Mazyad al-Amro
FlagFlag of the Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces.svg

The Saudi Arabian Air Defense Forces or officially Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces (RSADF) (Arabic: قُوَّات الدِفَاع الجوّي المَلكِيَّ السُّعُودِي) is the aerial defense service branch of the Saudi Arabian Armed Forces. It is fourth of the five service branches of the MOD.[1][3] It has its HQ in Riyadh,[b] where there is also an elaborate underground command facility that co-ordinates the Arabian Kingdom's advanced "Peace Shield" radar and air defense system, with an estimated 40,000 active duty military personnel in 2015.[4][5] Along with the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF), it has responsibility for securing the skies of Saudi Arabia.[6]


Towards the end of the 1970s, a paradigm shift occurred with the SAAF with the making of the RSAD Corps as a separate and equivalent service, equal to the Army, Navy, and Air Forces. It is no longer subordinate to the RSLF. The impetus behind this shift is the ever-changing threat. The concern by the Kingdom of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their mechanism of delivery, resulted in the early understanding by the MoD of the requirement to transform, and thus the creation of the RSADF.[7]

Between 2017 and 2020, the RSAF claimed the interception of 311 cruise missiles and 343 suicide drones but failed to stop all the attacks against the strategic Saudi sites of the Houthi movement and Iran.[8]

Peace Shield


Past Inventory

Weapon Origin 1990 2000 2005 2006
RSAD Inventory[10]
Anti-Aircraft Artillery
M163 VADS United States 92 92 92 92
AMX-30SA France 50 50 50 50
Oerlikon GDF Switzerland 128 128 128 128
Bofors 40mm L/70 Sweden 150 150 150 70
Surface-to-Air Missiles
Shahine France 141 141 141 141
I-HAWK United States 128 128 128 128
Crotale France 0 40 40 40
FIM-92A Stinger/Avenger United States 0 0 400 400
FIM-43 Redeye United States 0 0 500 500
Mistral France 0 0 500 500
PAC-2 Patriot United States 0 0 0 640

See also


  1. ^ 1930–1955 (as a part of the Artillery Arm of the Saudi Army)[1]    1956–1963 (as a part of the formation of the Artillery Corps)
       1963–1983 (an independent corps of the R.S. Land Forces)       1984– present (fourth armed service branches of the MOD).
  2. ^ Air Defense Ministry Building designed by Arthur Erickson Architects with Bing Thom


  1. ^ a b "Royal Saudi Land Forces History". Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  2. ^ IISS (2021). The Military Balance 2021. Routledge. p. 365. ISBN 978-1-032-01227-8.
  3. ^ a b c Al Saud, K. Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces, al-Moqatel (in Arabic) online.
  4. ^ "Saudi Arabia spends 25% of its budget on its military — here's what it has for the money". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 2 January 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  5. ^ Anthony Cordesman (2009). Saudi Arabia: National Security in a Troubled Region. Center for Strategic and International Studies. p. 387.
  6. ^ "Royal Saudi Air Defence Force - Responsibilities".
  7. ^ "Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces". Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Attaque suicide en Arabie-Saoudite: Nouvel échec du systéme Patriot". 19 March 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  9. ^ Janes-Military-Communications, 5 July 2005, Peace Shield (Saudi Arabia), Systems Archived 28 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2012-01-23
  10. ^ Cordesman, A. H., Al-Rodhan, K. R. (2006). Gulf Military Forces in an Era of Asymmetric Wars. United Kingdom: Praeger Security International. P. 208

External links

  • R.S. Air Defense Archived 24 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine official website
    • Moqatel (Warrior Desert)

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