Lt. General Mohammed bin Ahmed Al-Shoalan, Commander of the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF), died on Wednesday following a heart attack while he was on a business trip outside the Kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. No details were given.
Lt. General Al-Shoalan had been holding the position since May 14, 2014. Before that, he was Deputy Commander with the rank of Major General.
The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) is the aviation branch of the Saudi Arabian armed forces. The RSAF has developed from a largely defensive military force into one with an advanced offensive capability.
The RSAF maintains the third largest fleet of F-15s after the USAF and the JASDF.
The backbone of the RSAF is currently the Boeing F-15 Eagle, with the Panavia Tornado also forming a major component. The Tornado and many other aircraft were delivered under the Al Yamamah contracts with British Aerospace (now BAE Systems).
The RSAF ordered various weapons in the 1990s, including Sea Eagle anti-ship missiles, laser-guided bombs and gravity bombs.
On April 2013, BAE Systems delivered the first two new Typhoon Eurofighters of 24 to Saudi Arabia.
In 2013, the USAF tendered for security services to protect the Saudi Air Force from Cyberwarfare.