French giant Thales lends support for Saudi military industry

Patrice Caine
Updated 05 November 2017

French giant Thales lends support for Saudi military industry

RIYADH: French multinational giant Thales Group has voiced its support for Saudi Arabia’s national defense production. Thales serves the defense, aerospace, transport and security sectors.
Thales chairman and CEO Patrice Caine was in Riyadh on Saturday giving an overview of the group’s regional activities. He affirmed Thales’ commitment to assisting Saudi localize its defense industry, in line with Vision 2030.
“Our strategy is to localize activities and further develop capabilities in the region through training and knowledge-transfer programs within our defense as well as security and civil businesses,” Caine said.
“A big step toward this is through the opportunity to localize part of the manufacturing element of our business here in the region. Thales has partnered with Saudi companies to produce certain products specifically for the Saudi market within the Kingdom. This is something we are extremely proud of as a company, where it will allow us to contribute to the development of the Kingdom’s economy in line with Vision 2030.”
Caine praised the launch of Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) in May, calling it “a great initiative” and claiming that Thales already has “great ideas” to be developed in partnership with it.
Thales is ramping up its presence in the region, he said, with the Middle East defense market set to reach $180 billion by 2020. Caine noted that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are in the world’s top 10 spenders on defense.
“At the moment, roughly 60 percent of our projects in the region are defense-related,” Caine added. “We are … trusted to assist armed forces to achieve and maintain tactical superiority and strategic independence over any form of threat.”
Caine explained that Thales currently serves five markets in the region: defense, security, ground transportation, aeronautics, and satellites.
Referring to the blossoming Saudi-Thales relationship, Caine noted: “A key involvement for us is the security of the holy sites in Saudi Arabia — Makkah and Madinah — which is supported by Thales’ technology.”
In terms of physical presence, Thales’ operations cover the entire Kingdom through its offices in Riyadh, Jubail, and Jeddah. “We have over 700 employees including 30 percent Saudis covering the group’s entire sector portfolio,” the Thales chief explained.


Saudi health minister promises to procure tested vaccine

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (AP)
Updated 20 October 2020

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested vaccine

  • COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Saudi Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday said the Kingdom will procure vaccine for the novel coronavirus once it is confirmed to be safe and effective.

He said research on the vaccine is underway in a number of countries and the Saudi health authorities are following the developments.
The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to decline in the Kingdom with the recovery rate from the illness rising to 96 percent. The minister attributed the decline on the “commitment to health precautions.”
“I also thank my fellow health practitioners for their wonderful efforts,” Al-Rabiah said.
Commenting on the second and stronger wave of COVID-19 in some countries, he said it was due to a lack of “commitment to social distancing” and failure to wear masks and taking other precautions.
He ruled out any leniency on part of the government in its fight against the virus. The minister said it is necessary to abide by precautionary measures to keep the virus at bay.

FASTFACTS

• Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday.

• With 16 new fatalities, the virus-related death toll has risen to 5,201.

“We (all) are in one boat, and the failure of some affects everyone, so we must work together” to check the spread of the virus.
He also advised people who show COVID-19 symptoms to visit Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
“Appointments can be made through the ministry’s Sehaty app, and anyone who has any questions or wants to consult a doctor can call 937,” the minister said.
Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday. The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 348,583 since the beginning of the outbreak in the Kingdom.
The Health Ministry said 16 more people died due to complications caused by the virus raising the death toll to 5,201. The ministry also reported 357 new recoveries. The total number of recovered cases has now increased to 328,895.