Royal Saudi Land Forces

Operator Profile
saudi_air_force-lo-viz
John Hayles

Connect

History

Narrative Summary

The Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF) is the oldest branch of the Saudi military, being formed in 1902 at the start of the War of Unification of Saudi Arabia. The Army was modernised to keep pace with military developments in the following decades. In 1988 (1986?) a plan to establish an Aviation branch was approved and the first helicopters joined the RSLF Aviation Command in 1990. An airborne attack capability was added in 1992, with the arrival of AH-64 Apache helicopters.

Key Dates

13 Jan 1902    Royal Saudi Land Forces first established
1988?    RSLF Aviation Command created
1990    First helicopters received – Bell 406CS

Current Status

The Aviation Command is fully operational.

Future Plans

To be added.

Markings

National Insignia

Current — Historical

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The Saudi Army serial numbering system consists of a three digit number (Bell 406CS and Schweizer 330) or a five digit mumber (S-70/UH-60 and AH-64), e.g. 844 for Bell 406CS and 27181 for UH-60L.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

False reports of aircraft on order or in service

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Airport Rd, Riyadh 11165.

Organisational Structure

The RSLFAC is organised into two Aviation Battalions and one Aviation Group.

Current Order of Battle

Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle

To be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

1st Aviation Battalion
2nd Aviation Battalion
3rd Aviation Group

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The main air base is Hafr Al Batin at King Khalid Military City.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.

More Information

Books

Saudi Military Aviation Bibliography – to be added.

Magazines

To be added.

Websites

Official RSLF website

wikipedia: Saudi Arabian Army

Scramble: Saudi Arabia

All-Time Aircraft Used List
Saudi Arabian Army Aviation

saudi_air_force-lo-viz
John Hayles

Connect
Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Bell 406CS 15 1990? 1998 USA
Boeing AH-64A Apache 12 1992 current USA
Boeing AH-64D Apache 12 2010 current USA
Sikorsky S-70A-1 (UH-60A) Desert Hawk 13 1990 current USA
Sikorsky S-70A-L1 Desert Hawk 8 ? current USA
Sikorsky UH-60L Desert Hawk 24 2010 current USA
Sikorsky UH-60M Desert Hawk 9 2016 current USA
Schweizer 330 19 2010 current USA

Current Aircraft Inventory
Saudi Arabian Army Aviation

saudi_air_force-lo-viz
John Hayles

Connect
Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Bell 406CS 15 15 0 Observation
Boeing AH-64A Apache 12 8 0 Attack
Boeing AH-64D Apache 12 11 0 Attack
Sikorsky S-70A-1 Desert Hawk 13 13 0 Utility
Sikorsky S-70A-L1 Desert Hawk 8 8 0 Utility
Sikorsky UH-60L Desert Hawk 23 24 0 Utility
Sikorsky UH-60M Desert Hawk 9 9 0 Utility
Schweizer 330 19 19 0 Trainer

 

Aircraft Not Used
Saudi Arabian Army Aviation

John Hayles

Connect

This page gives details of some of the aircraft types that were offered or promised to Saudi Arabian Army Aviation, (Royal Saudi Land Forces), but not delivered, cancelled official orders, and types have been falsely reported as being in service.

Bell OH-58
The Bell 406CS ‘Combat Scout’ helicopters are often reported as “Bell OH-58 Kiowa” helicopters. The Bell 406CS design is a commercial version of the OH-58D, without the rotor mounted sight.

Schweizer 269
The Schweizer 330 trainers were originally reported as Schweizer 269 models in ‘Flight International’.

Boeing CH-47 Chinook
Boeing has often mentioned Saudi Arabia as a sales target for the CH-47 Chinook, but no contracts have been signed to date.

MD Helicopters MD530
Various sources list 12 MD530 helicopters as being in service. These helicopters actually serve with the Saudi Arabian National Guard – a completely different organisation.

Current Order of Battle
Saudi Arabian Army Aviation

saudi_air_force-lo-viz
John Hayles

Connect
Squadron Type Base
1st Aviation Battalion Bel 406CS, S-70A/UH-60A Hafr Al Batin
2nd Aviation Battalion AH-64A Apache Hafr Al Batin
3rd Aviation Group UH-60L Hafr Al Batin

 

Current Aircraft Inventory
Portuguese Air Force

John Hayles

Connect
Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Aerospatiale SA 316 Alouette III 156 7 0 SAR/Comms/Liaison/Utility
Aerospatiale TB-30 Epsilon 18 16 0 Trainer
AgustaWestland AW101 12 12 0 SAR/Transport
CASA C295 7 7 0 Transport
CASA C295 MPA 5 5 0 Maritime Patrol
D.H.C. Chipmunk 76 6 0 Glider Tug
Dassault-Breguet Alpha Jet A 50$ 8 0 Attack/Trainer
Embraer KC-390 0 0 6 Transport
LET L-23 Super Blanik 3 3 0 Glider Training
Lockheed P-3C Orion 5 5 0 Maritime Patrol
Lockheed C-130H/H-30 6 6 0 Transport
Lockheed Martin F-16A Block 15 17 16 0 Int./Attack
Lockheed Martin F-16AM 21 17 0 Int./Attack
Lockheed Martin F-16B Block 15 3 2 0 Trainer
Lockheed Martin F-16BM 4 3 0 Trainer
NHI NH90 0 0 10 Utility
Schleicher ASK-21 4 3 0 Glider Trainer

 

Shuttleworth Collection Photo Gallery

John Hayles

Connect

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      Royal International Air Tattoo 2016 Photo Gallery

      John Hayles

      Connect

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        Airborne Tactical Advantage Company

        Operator Profile
        atac_logo3
        John Hayles

        Connect

        History

        Narrative Summary

        Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) was first formed in 1994 by two ex-USAF pilots, who saw an opportunity for commercial tactical flight services to fill the gaps left by the disbandment of several USAF and USN Aggressor Squadrons during the defence cuts of the 1990s. The first aircraft, two SAAB 35 Drakens, were obtained in 1997, and the first training operations were conducted under contracts from the US Navy.

        The fleet was considerably expanded in 2002 with the acquisition of half a dozen IAI Kfirs retired from the Israeli Air Force. In 2004 the company added the capability of using electronic jamming systems as part of the training. A number of A-4 Skyhawks were added to the fleet, some company-owned and others obtained on lease. A significant change to the fleet was the introduction of more than a dozen ex-Swiss Air Force Hawker Hunters. Fast, agile and very reliable the Hunter soon became the backbone of the training fleet. In September 2011 the company was awarded a contract to support the training of Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) personnel – known in other countries as Forward Air Controllers – for the USAFE in Germany. The Skyhawks were retired in 2012 and replaced by a couple of Aero L-39 Albatros trainers.

        By 2016 the market for commercial tactical air training market was quite well established, and continuing to expand. In July 2016 ATAC was acquired by Textron Inc, the company that owns Beechcraft and Cessna, with a view to developing further opportunities in this market.

        Key Dates

        1994    Airborne Tactical advantage Company first formed
        1997    First aircraft enter service – two SAAB 35 Drakens
        2002    Fleet bolstered by ex-Israeli AF IAI Kfirs
        29 Sep 2011    ATAC wins 4-year USAFE JTAC contract in Germany
        2016    ATAC is aquired by Textron Corporation

        Current Status

        ATAC provides outsourced civilian tactical airborne training services. These include air-to-air aggressor training services, air-to-ship crew preparedness training, and air-to-ground Forward Air Controller training.

        Future Plans

        None known.

        Markings

        Special Markings

        Apart from the Drakens, aircraft operated by ATAC generally carry a two or three-tone camouflage paint scheme, with the ATAC logo on the fin in black. The Drakens retained their RDanAF gloss dark green finish.

        Aircraft Serial Numbers

        Aircraft operated by ATAC carry United States civil aircraft registrations, eg. Hawker Hunter N321AX.

        Fleet List

        All-Time List of Serials/Registrations

        Unit/Base Codes

        Coding system not used

        Aircraft

        Aircraft Designations

        None – Manufacturers designations used

        Current Aircraft Inventory

        Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
        Aero L-39 Albatros 2 2 0 Tactical Training
        Hawker Hunter Mk.58 16 11 0 Tactical Training
        IAI Kfir 6 5 0 Tactical Training

        All-Time Aircraft Used List

        Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
        Aero L-39ZA Albatros 2 2012 current ?
        Hawker Hunter Mk.58 15 2007 current Swiss AF
        Hawker Hunter FGA.74 1 ? current UK
        IAI Kfir C2 6 2002 current Israeli AF
        Douglas A-4C Skyhawk 1 ? 2012 US Navy
        Douglas A-4L Skyhawk 5 ? 2012 US Navy
        Douglas A-4N Skyhawk 3 2008 2012 leased
        Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk 1 ? 2012 US Navy
        SAAB 35 Draken 2 1997 ? RDanAF

        Aircraft NOT Used

        No false allocations known.

        Aircraft Losses and Incidents

        One Kfir and two Hunters have been lost in accidents.

        Organisation

        Main Headquarters

        Airborne Tactical Advantage Company, 1001 Providence Blvd Newport News, VA 23602, USA.

        Organisational Structure

        The company does not have any sub-units.

        Current Unit Assignments

        Not applicable.

        Historical Unit Assignments

        Not applicable.

        All-Time Flying Units List

        Not applicable.

        Air Bases

        Current Air Bases

        The main air base is NAS Point Magu, CA, but four other bases are regularly used inside and outside of the continental United States to deliver contracted services.

        All-Time Air Bases Used List

        See above.

        More Information

        Books

        None known.

        Magazines

        To be added.

        Websites

        wikipedia: Airborne Tactical Advantage Company

        Official ATAC Website

        Facebook: Airborne Tactical Advantage Company

        Outsourced Flight Support

        On the ATAC!


        Fleet List
        Airborne Tactical Advantage Company

        John Hayles

        Connect

        This a fleet list for the aircraft of the Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC).

        Serial/Reg’n. Aircraft Type C/No. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate
        N401AX IAI Kfir C2 136 N806KF 2005 ex 806 IDF/AF
        N402AX IAI Kfir C2 134 N822KF 2005 ex 822 IDF/AF
        N403AX IAI Kfir C2 124 2005 ex 842 IDF/AF
        N404AX IAI Kfir C2 130 N820KF 2005 ex 820 IDF/AF, w/o 6 Mar 2012
        N405AX IAI Kfir C2 145 2005 ex 928 IDF/AF
        N406AX IAI Kfir C2 106 2005 ex 825 IDF/AF
        N214AX Aero L-39ZA Albatros 232409 2011  
        N215AX Aero L-39ZA Albatros 432830 2011  
        N321AX Hawker Hunter F.58A 41H-697443 C-GIVT 1934  
        N322AX Hawker Hunter F.58 41H-697454 J-4087 ?  
        N323AX Hawker Hunter F.58A   J-4101 ?  
        N324AX Hawker Hunter F.58A 41H-697390 J-4030 ?  
        N325AX Hawker Hunter F.58   J-4095 ?  
        N326AX Hawker Hunter F.58   J-4080 ?  
        N327AX Hawker Hunter F.58A   J-4103 ?  
        N328AX Hawker Hunter F.58   J-4031 ?  
        N329AX Hawker Hunter F.58 41H-003067 J-4105 ? w/o 18 May 2012
        N330AX Hawker Hunter F.58   J-4090 ?  
        N331AX Hawker Hunter F.58 41H-697439 J-4072 ?  
        N332AX Hawker Hunter F.58 41H-697448   ? w/o 29 Oct 2014
        N334AX Hawker Hunter F.58 41H-679904 1934  
        N335AX Hawker Hunter F.58   J-4091 ?  
        N336AX Hawker Hunter F.58 ? 1934  
        N339AX Hawker Hunter FGA.74   XJ685 ?  
        N132AT Douglas A-4L Skyhawk 12374 145128 ? w/o 8 Jul 2010
        N143AT Douglas A-4L Skyhawk 12454 147690 ?  
        N146AT Douglas A-4L Skyhawk 12525 147761 ?  
        N147AT Douglas A-4L Skyhawk 12532 147768 ?  
        N154AT Douglas A-4L Skyhawk 12600 147836 ?  
        N207AT Douglas A-4C Skyhawk 12774 148581 ?  
        N7051J Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk 14018 156925 ?  
        N260WL Douglas A-4N Skyhawk 14349 ? ex 321 IDF/AF
        N261WL Douglas A-4N Skyhawk 14453 ? ex 413 IDF/AF
        N265WL Douglas A-4N Skyhawk ? ?  
        N111XD SAAB RF-35 Draken 35111 AR-111 1996  
        N119XD SAAB RF-35 Draken 35119 AR-119 1996  

        Additional information is welcome