First stage of Saudi drone factory complete: KACST

A prototype of the drone that will be manufactured at the factory.
Updated 17 June 2017
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First stage of Saudi drone factory complete: KACST

JEDDAH: The King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) has announced that the first stage of a drone factory in Riyadh is almost complete.
KACST’s Supervisor General of Special Programs Khaled Al-Hussan, who is overseeing the Saudi drone project, said that the factory is projected to manufacture drones suitable for military and civil purposes, scientific research, urban planning and security.
One of the drones that will be manufactured at the facility is the Saqr 1 drone which is made of carbon and glass fiber and is equipped with a satellite communications system. The drone can fly within a range of 2,500 km for 24 to 48 hours.
When it comes to who will use the drones, Al-Hussan told Arab News that “Taqnia Aeronautics is the party concerned with marketing and determining the market demand for the projected drones.”
KACST has also produced another three drones of medium size — the Saqr 2, 3 and 4. The units were first developed in 2012 with a total of 38 built as of August 2014.
Saqr 2 can fly for eight-hours at a speed of 120 km per hour at an altitude of 5,000 meters while the Saqr 4 is capable of carrying a load of up to 5 kg.
The Saqr 4 can reach a maximum speed of 120 kph at an altitude of 5,000 meters and can fly for five to six hours.
All the models are equipped with cameras for aerial photography.


FaceOf: Ahmad Al-Khatib, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries

Ahmad Al-Khatib
Updated 27 May 2018
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FaceOf: Ahmad Al-Khatib, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries

  • Saudi Arabian Military Industries aims to aims to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign purchases of military products

JEDDAH: Ahmad Al-Khatib was appointed the chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) in October 2017. 

He also holds the posts of chairman of the board of directors of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) since 2016; chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Fund for Development; adviser to the general secretariat of the Cabinet; adviser to the minister of defense; and adviser to the court of the crown prince.

Al-Khatib inaugurated on Friday the new facilities of the Aircraft Accessories and Components Company (AACC) at its new headquarters at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah during a ceremony under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

SAMI aims to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign purchases of military products and become one of the top 25 global companies in the field of military industries.

“Our goal is to localize more than 50 percent of the Kingdom’s military spending by 2030,” said the crown prince in his earlier statement.

Al-Khatib is a former adviser to the royal court, was the minister of health between 2014 and 2016, and served as the chairman for the Saudi stock company established in 2006, Jadwa Investment.

Al-Khatib has 23 years of experience in banking. In 1992 he joined the Bank of Riyad, working in various departments for 11 years and helping to establish the customer investment department. 

In 2003, Al-Khatib joined SABB Bank and participated in the establishment of Islamic Banking (Amanah). He then became the bank’s general manager.