A largest defense budget for Saudi Arabia with $56 billion

In December 2017, Saudi Arabia has announced a defense budget of about $56 billion for 2018, an increase of 10% compared to year 2017. According to the statement of the Saudi Arabia budget for 2018, around 5% will be spent for the development of new programs and projects.

A largest defense budget for Saudi Arabia with 56 billion dollars 925 001
Saudi M1A2 Abrams MBT and Bradley IFV at the front of the picture during military parade in Kuwait (Picture source US Air Force)

Another $5 billion will be invested to enhance military capabilities, and the local defense industry . The Saudi defense budget will be the fourth largest in the world after the United States, China, and Russia.

This is the large defense budget for Saudi Arabia since many years, in 2017 and 2016, military spending came in a close second to education.

Saudi Arabia is involved in the Yemen war since 2015, leading a coalition of nine African and Middle East countries, to influence the outcome of the Yemeni Civil War in favour of the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Code-named 'Operation Decisive Storm, the intervention initially consisted of a bombing campaign on Houthi Rebels and later saw a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces into Yemen.

Saudi Arabia is one of the best-equipped nations in the world. The Royal Saudi Air Force arsenal includes Eurofighter Typhoons, perhaps the most advanced fighter jet fielded by European militaries, and American F-15 Eagles. The Saudi army is equipped with M1A2 Abrams main tanks and M2 Bradley Armoured Fighting Vehicles. The country also uses AH-64D Apache Longbow and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.

In October 2017, Saudi Arabia has signed a memorandum of understanding on the purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia. Saudi Arabia has also purchased billions of dollars' worth of anti-missile technology from the United States, including Patriot missiles. In October 2017, the U.S. State Department has approved the possible sale of a THAAD anti-missile defense system to Saudi Arabia at an estimated cost of $15 billion.