Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) has signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group’s three affiliates, namely Hanwha Corporation, Hanwha Defense Co. Ltd., and Hanwha Systems Co. Ltd., to explore the formation of a joint venture company (JVC) in Saudi Arabia.
The MoA was formally signed on June 26 by Dr. Andreas Schwer, chief executive of SAMI, and Sungsoo Lee, CEO of Hanwha Defense, who represents the Hanwha companies.
Set to be established as a limited liability company in Riyadh and tentatively named as SAMI-Hanwha Munitions Systems LLC, the proposed entity will initially focus on the manufacturing and sale of munitions within Saudi Arabia.
The JVC will later evaluate the possibility of furthering capability in technology and expanding its product lines to ammunition and weapons, rockets, artillery systems, combat vehicles, defense systems, naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) systems, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems.
SAMI CEO Dr. Schwer said: “We are pleased to join forces with Hanwha Corporation, Hanwha Defense, and Hanwha Systems to help advance the Kingdom’s domestic aerospace and defense industries. With their more than 60 years’ history of active participation in the localization of imported defense products contributing to Korea’s military self-sufficiency and propelling its economic growth, the Hanwha affiliates are strategic partners for us in our endeavors aimed at helping achieve the ambitious goals outlined in Saudi Vision 2030. We are confident that this collaboration will bring unmatched benefits to our economy and people.”
Hanwha Defense CEO Lee said: “We have been working hard to see the fruition of our mutual engagement to localize Hanwha’s vast array of defense products: From munitions to land systems and defense electronics. Hanwha is fully committed to contributing its defense expertise to help achieve the Vision 2030 objectives.
“Hanwha will also work closely with South Korean and Saudi Arabian governments and local companies for the transfer of technology and co-development projects whenever the opportunity arises.”
Established in May 2017, SAMI is owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) — Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. The company operates four major business divisions, including aeronautics, land systems, weapons and missiles, and defense electronics.
Aiming to be among the top 25 military industries companies in the world by 2030, SAMI is expected to play a key role in localizing 50 percent of the Kingdom’s total government military spending.
The company is also focused on increasing exports and bringing foreign investment to the Kingdom’s military industries sector.