|This 1983: Doomsday page is a Stub.|
Saudi Arabia, also known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is an absolute Islamic monarchy located in a region of southwest Asia also known as the Middle East. It is bordered by Jordan and the former nation of Iraq to the north and northeast; by Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emigrates (UAE) to the east; Oman on the south east; and Yemen on the south. Additionally, it borders the Persian Gulf to the northeast and the Red Sea to the west. Having been the largest exporter of oil and natural gas in the world before Doomsday, the economy suffered a serious setback with the collapse of the international oil market which has taken years to recover. As of 2010 it is a major leader in the post-Doomsday Islamic World and a founding member of the Gulf States Union, an important voting block in the LoN.
Islam has and continues to play a major role in modern day Saudi Arabia. In the 7th Century, it was home to the religious leader Muhammad who established Islam and first united the various Bedouin tribes of the Arabian Peninsula into the first cohesive Muslim political entity. Under various leaders, Islam would spread throughout the world to encompass western Asia, northern Africa, and parts of Europe, becoming the second largest religion in the world. Saudi Arabia is home to the two most holiest sites of Islam, Medina and Mecca, home to the Al-Masjid al-Haram, or Grand Mosque, the world's largest mosque and home to the Kaaba. Since 1925, the nation has been controlled by Saud royal family, whose roots date back centuries in the region. As of September 1983, King Fahd bin Abdul Azjz Al Saud was the leader of the nation, having arisen to the throne just over a year earlier following the death of his half brother, King Khalid.
At the time of Doomsday, the US had a military presence in the nation in the form of four USAF E-3 planes, also known as Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) and several aerial tankers. The planes had been dispatched to the region in 1980 to provide early warning to the Saudi military in the event of an attack. Additionally, several hundred military advisors were also stationed in the country to help train the military.
On the morning of September 26, 1983, the Saudi government and military received a communiqué just before 4 AM local time from the US warning them of the Soviet launches. In response, the King was notified and declared a state of emergency and ordered the nation's military on full alert. The air defense squadrons of the Royal Saudi Air force (RSAF) were also ordered airborne, where they were joined by two of the USAF AWAC planes. At approximately 4:20 AM, the AWACs noted several Soviet SS-19 ICBM's inbound for the Middle East, with one in particular heading for Saudi Arabia. The AWAC crews immediately passed this information onto the RSAF who were ordered to intercept the missile before it could come out of orbit and deploy its warheads. Using this real time data, nearly 20 pilots converged on the incoming ICBM, pushing their planes to the limit in order to target and fire their missiles. At least three missiles struck the ICBM and caused it to break apart. However, the stress was too much for the pilots and at least 15 of the planes either broke apart or crashed. To this day, it is unknown as to what sites were targeted.
As citizens began to awaken across the nation, they quickly received news via radio and television of the horrific attacks throughout the world and how Saudi Arabia had been spared. Millions flooded into mosques across the country to thank Allah for delivering the nation from what seemed near destruction and offer prayers of condolences for the millions dying across the globe. In the Grand Mosque in Mecca alone, it was estimated as many as 200,000 people converged to offer prayers. As news continued to filter in, the government, as well as many foreigners living in the country were in shock. King Fahd ordered a full mobilization of the nation's resources in order to supply what aid they could to assist fellow nations which had been struck.
To be continued.
In 1983, the Saudi Arabian military consisted of approximately 51,500 personnel with an additional 25,000 serving in the nation's National Guard and 8500 in the Frontier Force and Coastguard. Since the 1940s, the US had played a significant role in both arming and training the Saudi military. The US helped to build military bases and command and control facilities; revise infrastructure, including assistance in establishing and integrating logistics, supply, and maintenance systems; and provide training. As of 1983, at least 500 American military advisors were in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, four USAF E-3 planes, also known as Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) and several aerial tankers had been stationed in the country for three years to provide early warning to the Saudi military in the event of an attack. Most of the nation's military equipment had been purchased from the west, especially the US.
Following Doomsday and the realization that Saudi Arabia no longer had the military shield of the west, King Fahd Al Saud made the decision to increase the size of military. This helped Saudi Arabia meet the challenges of a changing world and employ thousands of citizens thrown out of work by the collapse of the oil market. By the 1990s, the Saudi military stood at 100,000 and as of 2010, currently stands at 120,000. King Fahd took the step of offering foreign military advisors and contractors Saudi citizenship if they agreed to continue they swore allegiance to the nation and serve as part of the military. Many accepted this offer, while some chose to leave. Today, Saudi Arabia fields the largest known military force in the region, second only to Israel and Palestine. Like many nations of the Arabian Peninsula, the Saudis are actively involved in trying to replace and update military equipment. They are closely involved with other GSU nations to build and manufacture new weapons.
The Saudi military is the largest and most active participant in the military forces of the Gulf States Union. It has seen service in several areas in the post Doomsday world, including occupation of part of South Yemen following the collapse of its government following World War III and peacekeeping duties in the former Iraq with other GSU forces following that nation's bloody civil war in the 1990s. It also helped to play a role in putting down disturbances within the nation which erupted as a result of economic problems caused by the collapse of the oil market.
Royal Saudi Land Force (RSLF)
The largest segment of the Saudi military, the RSLF currently fields at least 80,000 soldiers. This includes at least three armored brigades; three mechanized brigades; three infantry brigades; and two airborne brigades. Armored vehicles include 300 AMX-30 battle tanks; 200 AML-60/90 light armored cars; 350 AMX-10P infantry fighting vehicles; and 800 M-113 and Panhard M-3 armored personnel carriers. Artillery consists of Model 56 105 mm; M-101/102 105 mm; M-198 towed; and GCT 135 howitzers. Soldiers are armed with TOW, Dragon, and HOT anti-tank weapons and Redeye, Shahine, and Improved Hawk surface to air missiles.
Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF)
The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) consists of 20,000 personnel overseeing operations at seventeen major airfields across the country, including Dharan, Tabuk, Al Taif; Al Kharj, and Khasmis Mushayt. It includes at least 170 combat aircraft, among them three fighter ground attack squadrons of F-5E fighter jets and four interceptor squadrons of Lightning F-53; T-55, and F-15s. They also field at least 136 helicopters, which includes two helicopter squadrons of AB-206B; AB-205; AB-212 helicopters and three transports squadrons of C-103E; C-130H, KC-130, and Jetstars. Armaments generally consist of Red Top, Firestreak, Sidewinder, and AIM-7F Sidewinder air to air missiles and Maverick Air to Surface Missiles. The four USAF AWAC planes which had been stationed in the country were taken and absorbed into the RSAF.
The RSN consists of at least 15,000 officers and men, including 3000 Marines. The RSN is divided into two fleet headquarters: the western fleet based in the Red Sea and the eastern fleet in the Persian Gulf. Naval bases are located in Jiddah, Al Qaif/Jbail Ras Tanura, Damman, Yanbu, and Ras al Mishab. The fleet includes four frigates (built by the Saudis), four PCG-1 corvettes and nine PGG-1 fast attack missile boats armed with Harpoon missiles; one large patrol craft; and three Jaguar fast attack boats armed with torpedoes. The RSN also has ten landing craft capable of putting ashore troops and armor.
Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG)
The SANG serves separately from the Saudi military acting as a defense force providing both internal and external security for the nation. Led by a member of the Saudi royal family, it is modeled on the National Guard of the old US and serves as a private army of the king. Members are drawn only from tribes loyal to the King and royal family. It serves a variety of purposes including protection of the royal family, preventing coups, protecting key facilities and resources, and keeping safe the holy sites of Islam, such as Medina and Mecca. Among the weapons used by the National Guard, are V-150 Commando Armored Personnel Carriers, M-102 105 mm howitzers, 106 mm recoilless launchers, and TOW anti-tank weapons. The SANG numbers around 60,000 soldiers.
For much of its early history, the area now composing Saudi Arabia lacked a uniform economic policy. The discovery of oil and the foundation of the modern nation changed all of that. By the eve of World War III, the nation had a vibrant economy which was focused for the most part on the drilling, production, and exportation of petroleum and natural gas. The US, Japan, and West Germany were primarily, although not exclusively, their primary customers for oil. The massive revenue derived from this industry helped to fuel an extensive industrialization and modernization boom within the country. As of 1983, it is estimated the Saudis were earning at least $246 billion a year in total revenue, of which about $186 billion was the direct result of oil, or roughly 75%. With one of the largest oil reserves in the world, they were pumping some 5000 barrels a day. However, beginning in 1982, the international oil market was already in the process of shrinking as a result of an oil glut and OPEC had imposed oil production limits of all members, which especially hit Saudi Arabia hard. As a result, the government had already begun a process of slowing or reducing public spending.
Outside of oil, the economy revolved around agriculture, utilities, manufacturing, and construction. Although agriculture constituted roughly 7.5% of its market, the government had made it a national priority to become more self sufficient as it applied to food. With the help of government programs and subsidies, which helped to modernize and commercialize this sector, is had expanded over time. In 1983 for example, the nation's wheat output represented some four-fifths of wheat production for the entire Middle East. Sheep, goats, cattle, and chickens were also raised. Despite access to water, fishing represented a small part of food production. Despite their overall successes, the nation was still somewhat short of its goals.
To be continued...