By Arab News
Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) has signed an agreement to set up a joint venture with US firm Lockheed Martin, the company announced on Sunday.
The deal will enhance the Kingdom’s defense and manufacturing capabilities and localize military industries in the Kingdom.
It also aims to create jobs in the Kingdom and train Saudis to manufacture products and provide services to the Kingdom’s armed forces.
SAMI will own 51 percent of the venture while Lockheed Martin will own the rest.
The venture will develop capabilities in manufacturing and software technologies, systems integration, and the production, maintenance, and repair of rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, and missile defense systems, SAMI said.
“In keeping with the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, we at SAMI are exploring areas of cooperation that help us build a sustainable and self-sufficient military industries sector in the Kingdom,” SAMI CEO Walid Abukhaled said.
“Our strong and long-term partnership with Lockheed Martin confirms our full commitment as the joint venture agreement constitutes a major step in our journey to achieve our ambitious goals, and we look forward to recording huge results in the near future.”
Senior vice president of Lockheed Martin International Tim Cahill said the company had laid an important cornerstone in its strategic relationship with SAMI.
The agreement, he said, “is part of our long-term commitment to support the Kingdom’s plans for localization and economic growth.”
“This agreement is considered to be part of Lockheed Martin’s strategy to expand our partnership with Saudi Arabia by providing certified defense and security solutions that will support security and prosperity for decades to come,” Cahill added.
The agreement was signed at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi by Cahill and Abukhaled.