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Subject: Misconceptions about the Royal Saudi Air Force as well as musings.
RSAF    11/10/2003 6:26:10 PM
I dont post here but read alot, my ipression is that this board has a ton of great information but also a sizabale amount of misinformation.One post in particular "got my dander up":the one about the RSAF paper tiger.Lets mith-bust shall we?: (please excuse my spelling and grammer,English is a third language to me) First of all regarding the lack of capable saudi air craft maintenace personnel,not only is this not true but it is ridiculas.My father is a mechanical engineer employed by Al-Salaam Aircraft Company, LTD.Here is a little info on this Saudi company: Al Salam is a joint venture company established under the auspices of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Defense and Aviation Economic Offset Program. The company was established as a strategic resource for the Kingdom to provide self-sufficiency in the field of aircraft maintenance and modification through technology transfer and development of Saudi nationals. The Al Salam partners selected to implement this strategic resource are as follows: Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) 25% Saudi Advanced Industries Company (SAIC) 10% Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) 10% National Industrialization Company (NIC) 5% Boeing Industrial Technology Group (BITG) 50% Al Salam AirCraft Co. Ltd. is a Saudi partnership established in 1988 with an initial capital investment of $45 million. The partners include BOEING (50%), SAUDIA (25%), SAIC (10%), Gulf Investment (10%) and NIC (5%). The company established a core capability that enables it to perform heavy maintenance and modification on both military and civil aircraft. On the civil side, Al Salam has been performing various types of maintenance tasks including D-Checks. On the military side, it can perform any maintenance work up to and including Programmed Depot Maintenance (PDM). These activities are supported by fully equipped backshops and Non-Destructive Testing laboratory along with an advance MIS system in State-of-the-art facilities. *********Company capabilities have been validated by FAA and PCA certification********, approved as a military contractor and as a subcontractor to major UK Aerospace company and major USA aircrfat company. Since 1993, Al Salam performed D-Checks and modification on L1011, B747, B737, B707 and BELL 406 Helicopter.Not to mension the maintinance of the F-15's and other military aircraft. The employees of this company have been trained well and are expirienced.recentely a program initiated by the Saudi Defence Ministry labelled "Al Yammamah" was completed sucessfully.17 F-15 jets were completely dis-assembeled and then re-assembeled by three 100% Saudi teams!! The results were perfect.In fact one of the American ex-pats commented that if the parts were available the three teams in question would be able to build f-15's in our facilities. Another program,which i will not go into detail about, will deal with upgrading the f-5's provided that the ALY deal goes through. Now about the RSAF it self,not only do we have a beautiful combination of American and British equipment but our pilots have shown they know how to use it.Iraqi and Iranian planes have been shot down time and again by the Saud Eagles.In fact the ONLY double kill in the second gulf war was by a Saudi Pilot who shot down two Iraqi jets as well as striking a ground anti-air target. I have over 50 hours of Saudi military aviation on tape,if i ever convert it to a PC friendly format i will be sure to post it here.The Green Knights are the demo team(they fly Hawks) and i have colected most of theyr taped shows.If the site owner would host these clips i would provide them. About the coruption in the hose of Saud,that is one point that I cannot argue with.and yes there are favors being handed out.but to say that test answers are handed out and pilots are being handed multi million jets just because of a last name is truely funny. As for the naval and ground forces,I have no personal knowledge about the naval forces other than what i have heard hear and there,so i cannot contest the original posters "hard facts".The ground forces however are extremely caotic and incapable as far as the main army goes.However the speacial strike forces are another matter completely,but thats another post for another day. Finally to conlcude i would like to say that i am not trying to make out the RSAF as the mightiest fighting force this side of the pond,we do have a long way to go to achive a totally dependant AF.but the misconceptions here needed corecting. Oh yeah one more thing, about the reply about ARAMCO Saudi employees not knowing "how to turn the valves".that was truely funny,my brother is a VP of ARAMCO,and I am currentely in thyr training program.Not only do the Americans have nothing to do with the oil rigs but the are also confined to "paper duty".the only reason they exist is the US pressure.if the Americans were to leave tomorow,nothing would change.And about the Shia being the only
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Final Historian    RE:Misconceptions about the Royal Saudi Air Force as well as musings.   11/10/2003 9:18:05 PM
Are you a Saudi? I ask because if you are, then you are the first on the board. Welcome. As for the info on the RSAF, I understand that it has been a long time since the Gulf War, so I wouldn't be shocked to hear things have gotten better. But I have a serious question, how bad is the corruption in the Saudi military? I have heard some claims it is pretty bad, and I wondered the extent to which this claim is true. Thanks for the info.
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ZbigX    RE:Misconceptions about the Royal Saudi Air Force as well as musings.   11/10/2003 11:36:13 PM
I second Final Historian's comment in welcoming a Saudi national to this board. Would be fascinating to get your insights on some of the more geopolitical threads running right now when you get the chance and are so inclined to do so.
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RSAF    RE:Misconceptions about the Royal Saudi Air Force as well as musings.   11/11/2003 12:20:58 AM
Thank you for the welcome gentelmen.Yes I am indeed Saudi,and would be delighted to answer any questions,and i look forward to being a more active member.I just hope you overlook my grammer and spelling. I am going through my majors right now so I wont be very active for at least another four days. RE:Coruption in the military. Oh its deep,no dought.Not as bad as it has been reported here,but still bad.My wild guess would be something along the lines of 25% - 35% of the total anual budget is used to buy one toilet seat,if you get my drift.
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Final Historian    RE:Misconceptions about the Royal Saudi Air Force as well as musings.   11/11/2003 1:03:03 AM
Thanks, glad to have another voice here. We don't have many members from the Middle East, in fact only Jordan and Iran to my knowledge. And don't worry, your english is fine. Better, might I add, than many American youths in fact.
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Ex-pat2    More about the Royal Saudi Air Force......   11/11/2003 1:24:40 AM
One very simple question - could the RSAF fly sustained "combat" ops without contract maintenance? Remember, combat operations would entail maintenance performed at each dispersed hangar on your bases - not a depot/consolidated maintenance set-up as it is day-to-day. This would, in-turn, require even more RSAF maintenance personnel than the RSAF currently has. But if your answer is yes, then that would beg the question why is there any need whatsoever for any American/Brit contract maintenance personnel at all - whether their contracts are under the name of Al Salaam now or Boeing/McDonnel Douglas/Lockheed in the past. Second, what is the status of the RSAF warfighting concept of operations - especially in the area of base support (also refered to in NATO as survive-to-operate) capability. Last I heard it was either non-existant or at best only concepts at the RSAF HQ - again formulated by American/British contract personnel. Among certain support activities that may exist at RSAF bases in name only is fire-fighting, EOD, runway-repair, and NBC defense - unless these functions have been contracted out also. And please no fairy-tales about RSAF shoot downs of Iraqi aircraft. Well there were 2 confirmed killed, and it happened something like this: American AWACS and a couple of American fighters - who herded the errant Iraqi flyers into a kill zone "set-up" for a Saudi F-15. Given the stand-off range and "fire-and-forget" capability of modern air-to-air missles it could hardly be the stuff of legend. All-in-all, besides the Alice-in-Wonderland contract world of Saudi Arabia which paid McDonnell-Douglas a very handsome price for those F-15Ss (degraded avionics and all), we all know that the severe limitations of RSAF in-house maintenance was the only reason the U.S. Congress approved of this sale over Israeli objections (that and the fact that they can't be based in the most Northeastern RSAF base at Tabruk). Given the operational imperative that no fighter jet will ever get enough fuel to reach Riyadh, munitions movement can only be approved personally by a member of the Royal family, and the already mentioned problems in maintenance, I suspect Israel is smiling with their FREE F-15Is But like others, I welcome the perspective of a Saudi on this forum. But please don't try and give us any Ambassador Bandar-like spin (like his mouthpiece Al Jubeir).
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Ex-pat2    RE:More about the Royal Saudi Air Force......   11/11/2003 1:27:49 AM
excuse me - "Northwestern" in regards to Tabruk
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Ex-pat2    RE:More about the Royal Saudi Air Force......   11/11/2003 1:28:16 AM
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giblets    RE:More about the Royal Saudi Air Force......   11/11/2003 4:08:12 AM
Hi and welcome also, I have been to Saudi many times, and found everyone to be really friendly, though I am upset I will no longer be able to visiy from next year, I understand you point, however,the general consensus is that, whilst the maintenance teams may be able to look after one job say, the idea of handing over the RSAF entirely would be silly, from all the reports I have heard, they require strict management from BAe etc in or to run efficiently.
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twister    RE:Misconceptions about the Royal Saudi Air Force as well as musings.   12/25/2003 3:14:57 PM
The RSAF Peace Sun Project to this day, 1. No longer an FMS contract now a DCS contract RSAF must now pay a very inflated price for parts. 2. The C/D is very old. Actually a PRE MSIP. Weapons systems aren't that great on the C/D. Still using LAU114's (can only fire 9's). Have LAU106's but can't fire 120's;can only fire 7's as they are not upgraded for that and the 7's aren't like the ones in USAF inventory. The gun works on few not all and most of the gun harness's need replace very rare for them to pass a ring out. Bad harness are do to RSAF removing and installing gun and tearing it apart in the process. Only been about 5 years since they upgraded their ACP's to MPCD. They do get suite upgrades but the software's they get upgrade certain systems. PAC's does not work on all, but very few. Not every thing works. Don't know if the powers that be want it that way or what, but in a fight now i'd bet all my peso's on the other guy. It's like they bought this weapons package and all these suite upgrade's but they don't realize they have to upgrade the whole airplane system. The stuff just doesn't work. Guys who actually work this jet know what I mean. It's like selling someone a halfassed product. Really the only thing that would remind anybody that this was a MSIP jet would be the CHAFF/FLARE MODS and the conversion of the ACP and MPCD i guess. Test Equipment for all shops; non existent, It's all broke, there is no way to verify or ring out any system on this aircraft ensuring it works. 3. The Powerplant systems , while a very productive, reliable, and forgiveable system in the real world on the C/D, not here(no parts; they just won't pay cause the price; my oppinion though, don't know. Big problems with support equipment and part's. They just aren't here. Refer to #1. They send AMAD's JFS's and IDG's to some company in Jeddah to be fixed and needless to say its half assed. Somebody is make'ing money on this one. I guess a way of saving money instead of paying the inflated since it's now DCS (Direct Commerial Sales). Anyway in the thirty ship wing of C/D's, their O.R. rate is average 4 to six sorties a day. Of course you tell your Headquaters it's more than that. 3. Attack and Countermeasure Systems; well go back to the suite upgrades. F-15 radar is the best in the world, not here they very seldom work, or work the correct way. 4. Guess 2,3,4 come down to parts. 5. The RSAF, the USAF has pulled out of the Kingdom except for the very few, which has caused a lot of shift. For instance the RSAF are moving more planes up to the Tabuk and beefing up Taif. The RSAF has run into some problems, while they have been cutting back on contractors from the west and saudinization of their military, ( a few squadrons in the RSAF have been Saudi'd for a few years now) this major military shift, has rattled the chains within, the saudi'd squadrons have been fudge'ing numbers for so long, when the Contractors moved out of a southern saudi base as of recent, a saudi'd squadron (the 5th) fell apart, no longer were they able to mask their maintenance practice and O.R. to RSAF headquaters especially when the C.D. contractor's left for Taif, which led to fire'ing the whole squadron, yes all RSAF fire'd or displaced somewhere else in an honorble way i guess. now many contractor's from the S model are directly supporting this squadron including their QRA. Which leads to the C/D move to taif, their low O.R. and maintenance practice, which they were not able to support on their own. Thus now the contractor's are back in Taif. RSAF wide they are trying to get more contractors now but can't seem to get any to come over for all specialties! 6. The RSAF themselves, well they are like everyone has posted, nothing has changed. They pencil whip every thing, they do not follow Tech Data, they can't fix anything; it's like it is to complicated for them which it probably is. Most can't read english. Most hired now can't even read their own language and im not saying this out of disrespect. This is what you get with a un educated society. And yes most are not all there. I've seen RSAF just sit there with parts on the ground and have no clue, they wait for the contractor to come and help out, and this is the majority. They came straight from where ever. They act the same way as they alway's have, the elisted corp's all of whom want to be in charge from a two striper and up but dont know jack. And not willing to learn. It's just the way it is. Thats why nothing ever gets done or done correctly. It's hard for the contractor to get things done when they tech out vital jobs such as A.G.E , LOX plants, I.M. Shops, Production, ect. ect. Guess they haven't figured out a way to tech out flight line cause they haven't done it, probably cause the fear something bad would happen. They all leave at 4 not counting tea time and prayer. So there is no support. RSAF headquater's know this or they wo
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Ex-pat2    RE:Misconceptions about the Royal Saudi Air Force as well as musings.   12/26/2003 8:23:09 PM
Great update twister.
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