The Saudi Arabian Military Industries Company (Sami) and French ship builder Naval Group signed an agreement to build warships for the first time as part of the kingdom’s efforts to boost its homegrown defence industry.
“We plan to sign the final contract soon,” Andreas Schwer, chief executive of Sami, said on the sidelines of the ongoing IDEX 2019 in Abu Dhabi. Financial details and the size of the investments were not disclosed.
State-owned Sami will hold a 51 per cent stake in the JV with the Naval Group to manufacture corvettes, frigates and submarines in Saudi Arabia. “Our joint venture agreement with Naval group laid the foundation of a strategic partnership that will reinforce Sami’s commitment to helping Saudi Arabia develop self-sufficient defence capabilities,” said Dr Schwer. He also added that the joint venture will significantly contribute to further enhancing the capabilities and readiness of Royal Saudi naval forces.
Sami also signed an agreement with the UAE-based Mubadala Investment Company to collaborate across aerospace, defence manufacturing, maintenance, repair and overhaul, research and development and engineering.
“This represents a historic moment for the global aerospace and defence industries in setting up an aligned aerospace and defence strategy between the UAE and KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia),” said Badr Al Olama, Director of Aerospace and Defence, Mubadala.
“Through our strategic collaboration, we have identified a number of areas for potential partnership in the manufacturing, R&D and MRO space that can utilise the deep experience of the UAE in growing international partnerships and establishing a regional ecosystem.”
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