Alarmed as the increasing military power of Iran, and a Shia
government in Iraq, Saudi Arabia is going to spend $60 billion, over the next
few years, to increase the quantity and quality of its armed forces. Ground
forces manpower will be increased 20 percent, to 275,000 (150,000 in the army,
and 125,000 in the National Guard, a tribal force that, ultimately, is there to
protect the monarchy from a rebellious army). The army's 315 M1 tanks will be
upgraded to the M1A2S standard. There's a possibility that 350 French Leclerc
tanks may be purchased as well, if only to buy a little more diplomatic support
from the French. The National Guard is also getting its own air force, of 96
helicopters (64 NH-90 transports, 12 Tiger gunships helicopters and 20
Eurocopter Cougar heavy transports). The army is getting another 24 UH-60
helicopter transports, and another 25 AH-64D helicopter gunships.
of the money is going to the air force, which is getting 72 Eurofighter
aircraft, and upgrades to the current fleet of 155 F-15s and 96 Tornado IDSs.
If the French need more motivation, 48 French Rafale fighters may be purchased
navy will get upgrades to existing ships.