Royal Saudi Land Forces

Operator Profile


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.


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 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


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


Saudi Military Aviation Bibliography – to be added.


To be added.


Official RSLF website

wikipedia: Saudi Arabian Army

Scramble: Saudi Arabia

All-Time Aircraft Used List
Saudi Arabian Army Aviation

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

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

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.

Civil Aviation / al-Tairan al-Madani

Aviation-related Magazines Guide

Bi-monthly publication focusing on the operation of commercial aircraft in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. Published in Saudi Arabia in parallel Arabic and English editions under separate covers. The Arabic version is called ‘al-Tairan al-Madani’ or ‘Majallat al-tayarān al-madanī’ and the English version is called ‘Civil Aviation’. Originally published quarterly, it later switched to bi-monthly publication. Issue 62 was dated January 2011. 18 pages in each issue.

Further information:
GACA Website

Saudi Arabia

Country Profile

The Country


Saudi Arabia is a country in Western Asia, located on the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the Red Sea to the west, Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the north east, Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE and the Persian Gulf to the east, Oman to the south east and Yemen to the south.

The terrain of the country is almost entirely sandy desert or shrubland, with little cultivatable land. With almost no rivers or lakes, the main water channels are Wadis, dry drainage courses that become active during sudden rainfall. Along the Red Sea coast runs a rocky escarpment, which includes the Jabal Sawda mountain, 3,133 m (10,279 ft) high. A narrow coastal strip runs between the escarpment and the coast itself. The total land area is 2,149,690 sq km (870,000 sq miles).

The population of Saudi Arabia is 29.2 million (2012 figures), and is made up of 62% Arabs, 6.9% Afro-Arabs, 31% guest workers (mostly South Asian, Egyptian or Yemeni). In terms of religion, 85% are Sunni Moslem, 12% Shia Moslem, and 3% others. The capital city is Riyadh.

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National History

Summary Narrative History

Timeline – Key Dates in Saudi History

Further National Information

BBC News Profile: Saudi Arabia
Yahoo Saudi Arabia page
wikipedia: Saudi Arabia
wikipedia: History of Arabia


Text to be added on the development of aviation in Saudi Arabia.


Civil Aircraft Registrations

Saudi Arabian (Hedjaz) civil aircraft initially used the registration prefix A-Hxx, 1919 to 1939. The sequences UH-xxx (1932-1944) and SA-xx (1948-1970s) were also used. In 1945 the sequence HZ-xxx was allocated and is still used.

All-time Saudi Arabia – civil aircraft register (A-Haa UH-aa SA-aaa HZ-aaa) [TO BE ADDED].
[Get involved with the Aeroflight Cloud.]

Aircraft Operators

Military Air Arms

Air Force (Royal Saudi Air Force)
Naval Aviation (Royal Saudi Naval Forces)
Army Aviation (Royal Saudi Land Forces)
National Guard Aviation (Saudi Arabian National Guard)

Central Government Agencies

Government Aviation (Saudi Royal Flight)
Finance Aviation (Saudi Ministry of Finance)
Security Aviation (Saudi Ministry of Interior)
Environment Aviation (Saudi Presidency of Meteorology & Environment)

Public Service Aviation

Medical Aviation (Saudi Medical Services)
Medical Aviation (Saudi Air Ambulance)
Police Aviation (Saudi Police)

Commercial Aviation


wikipedia: Airlines of Saudi Arabia
The World’s Airlines: Saudi Arabia

Private Aviation

To be added


Aircraft Manufacturers

None at present

Aircraft Maintenance/Repair Depots

None known.


Civil Airports & Airfields

Airports in Saudi Arabia

Military Air Bases & Airfields

Military Air Bases Listing – to be added

On Show

Aviation Museums

Saqr Al Jazeera Aviation Museum (RSaudiAF Museum), Riyadh

Airshow Dates

Key Airshow Dates

More Information

Aviation-Related Magazines

Magazines Guide for Saudi Arabia

Aviation Bibliography

Saudi Arabia Aviation Bibliography – to be added

Web Links

None known.