RIYADH — Under the patronage and in the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin, deputy premier, minister of defense and Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defense, the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) inked the establishment of two new joint ventures with Thales and CMI Defence.
The agreement was held on the sidelines of the launch of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP).
The scope of the joint venture signed with the French company Thales includes air-defense short-range and counter-rockets radars, C2s, multi-mission missiles, fuses for guided bombs, and inter-communication radios. The project aims to invest in the facilities and equipment in the local market, at a localization ratio of 70%, while around 2,000 direct and indirect jobs will be generated for Saudi youth.
The second joint venture agreement, which is signed with Belgium’s CMI Defense, includes delivering multifunctional high-power turret systems for armored vehicles and all related services, providing in-country research and development and prototyping, design and systems engineering, supplier and material management, manufacturing, assembly and test, fielding and support, and upgrades, and integration of other OEM products and services. The project is expected to realize a localization rate of 60%, in addition to offering more than 700 direct and indirect jobs for the Saudi youth.
Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Chairman of SAMI, said these two joint ventures would play a large part in helping to achieve the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030. He added that they would help realize the ambitious announcement already made by the Crown Prince who said that he wants 50% of all military spending to be based locally by 2030.
SAMI has successfully signed 18 high-level agreements in December 2018 with major global, regional and local companies in the fields of technology, defense, security, research and development. The agreements included MoAs, MoUs, and MoCs with world-class companies of the magnitude of Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Paramount, Hensoldt, L3 Technologies, BAE Systems, UK Defence Solutions Centre (UK DSC), Airbus, MBDA, Leonardo, Prince Sultan Defense Studies and Research Center, Elettronica, and King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).
Al-Khateeb pointed out that all of these agreements support the creation of the integrated defense industries ecosystem by involving the energy, industry and research institutions. This will contribute significantly to further enhancing the readiness of the Saudi Armed Forces and increasing local content, in addition to creating new job opportunities and training for Saudi youth to increase their contribution and raise their role in this vital industry and the national economy in general.
SAMI has also announced earlier the signing of an MoU with Mubadala Investment Co. The agreement aims to enhance the cooperation in the fields of aviation industry including manufacturing, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), and engineering, in line with the industrial transformation ambitious plans adopted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The plans also include development of strategies across the value chain for the aerospace industry. This MoU is considered as a historic leap for the global aviation industry, since it develops a strategy for a promising industrial partnership between the Kingdom and the UAE.
The National Industrial Development and Logistics Program is one of the most important programs to achieve the vision of the Kingdom, as it implements more than 300 initiatives and develops 11 industries, including the automotive industry, military, medical, aquaculture and fish industries, all aiming to raise the Kingdom’s exports to 50% of the non-oil exports.
The program aims at transforming the Kingdom into a leading industrial power and a global logistics platform, by focusing on four vital sectors, namely, industry, mining, energy and logistics, to contribute to GDP by SR1.2 trillion and provide 1.6 million jobs, in addition to attracting investments estimated at SR1.6 trillion by 2030.