Saudi Arabian Military Industries and France’s Naval sign deal to build warships in the Kingdom

SAMI and French Naval Group will manufacture warships, frigates, and submarines in Saudi. Above, is an image of a Saudi amphibious hovercraft participating in military drills in 2018. (AFP/File)
Updated 18 March 2019

Saudi Arabian Military Industries and France’s Naval sign deal to build warships in the Kingdom

  • SAMI is expected to create 5,000 new jobs
  • Saudi plans to nationalize 50% of its military spending for Vision 2030

JEDDAH: A joint venture to strengthen the Royal Saudi Naval Forces is to be set up between a state-owned defense firm and a French company specializing in naval defense.
The Saudi Arabian Military Industries Company (SAMI) and Naval Group signed an agreement on the sidelines of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi.
The agreement sets out the framework for establishing the joint venture, which will strengthen the Kingdom’s efforts to localize essential industrial skills and capabilities.
SAMI aims to be one of the world’s top 25 military industry companies by 2030, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants to localize 50 percent of Saudi military spending by 2030 also.
SAMI CEO Dr. Andreas Schwer said: “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 defense capabilities. The collaboration offers us an excellent opportunity to leverage Naval Group’s strong track record of helping its partners develop sovereign defense capabilities to create an integrated military industries ecosystem in the Kingdom.”
“Through design, construction, and maintenance activities, the joint venture will contribute significantly to further enhancing the capabilities and readiness of our Royal Saudi Naval Forces.”
Last year, SAMI signed agreements with Boeing and Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia.  
Vision 2030 is highly reliant on the contribution of SAMI to the gross domestic product (GDP). According to the vision, the plan is to nationalize 50 percent of the military spending, and increase the contribution of the private sector to the GDP by 40-65 percent.
Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia expects SAMI to contribute almost $240 million to the national GDP by 2020, and to create 5,000 new jobs.
SAMI is set to become one of the top manufacturers globally, combining the latest technologies and best expertise to produce military equipment according to international standards and aid the development of the Saudi army.
The company’s strategy is based on implementing best practices from extensive studies in the industry, and collaborating with national and international partners.
SAMI designed their areas of operation to increase profitability and nationalization of the industry.

Saudi Arabia could return to extreme precautionary restrictions, minister warns

Penalties will be doubled upon repetition of the violation. (SPA)
Updated 9 min 3 sec ago

Saudi Arabia could return to extreme precautionary restrictions, minister warns

  • People not wearing masks will be fined

JEDDAH: The Kingdom could return to extreme precautionary restrictions if the number of COVID-19 patients exceeds the medical sector’s capacity, Saudi Arabia’s Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah warned on Saturday.
“Public awareness and adherence to precautionary measures is essential to continue the ease of restrictions,” Al-Rabiah said. “We continue monitoring the situation based on the number of critical cases in hospitals and their capacity to receive them. We want to be able to receive all cases that reach out to us and provide them with the care that they need. We are all in one boat in this situation, we are one team, and we must work together cautiously. Lack of commitment will definitely take us back to where we were.”
There were 1,618 new cases reported in Saudi Arabia, meaning that 83,384 people have now contracted the disease. There are currently 24,501 active cases.
The Health Ministry announced that 1,870 more patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 58,883. More than 70 percent of coronavirus patients in the Kingdom have recovered from the disease.
There were 22 new COVID-19-related deaths reported on Saturday, raising the total number of fatalities to 480.
The ministry has assigned 30 health practitioners to carry out the third stage of an expanded examination plan to assess the prevalence of COVID-19 in the city of Makkah.


• 58,883 recoveries

• 24,501 active cases

The examination will take place at a center in the Al-Zaidi district, where citizens and expats will be tested inside their cars through 12 tracks without the need to leave their vehicles. The center has the capacity for over 1,000 tests daily and these will be carried out through appointments made on the ministry’s Sehaty app.
Adjustments to previously announced social distancing measures and regulations were announced by the Saudi Interior Ministry on Saturday. These include new violation penalties, as the second stage of restriction-easing starts on May 31.
Individuals who intentionally violate regulations will pay SR1,000 ($266). Breaches include not wearing a mask, not committing to social distancing marks and areas, refusing to undergo temperature checks at entrances, or not adhering to preventive protocols if their temperature is higher than 38 degrees Celsius.
Private sector establishments that are found to be noncompliant with new preventive measures and protocols will pay a penalty of SR10,000. Penalties will be doubled upon repetition of the violation.