DUBAI: A major Saudi American military industries partnership aimed at beefing up the Kingdom’s security systems has begun its operations.
The first joint venture of its kind between Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and US-based defense systems manufacturer L3Harris Technologies will involve the development of advanced communications, sensors, and integrated mission systems for the Saudi armed and security forces.
The agreement was finalized at the Paris Air Show in June 2019 during a signing ceremony attended by SAMI Chairman Ahmed Al-Khateeb and L3Harris Technologies Vice Chairman, President, and COO Christopher Kubasik.
Initially focusing on localization of L3Harris’ advanced communication and sensor products, the deal will expand to include the development of integrated mission systems and platforms.
Both companies will collaborate in areas such as specialized operator and maintenance training, transfer of production, and technology transfer.
Walid Abukhaled, CEO of SAMI, said: “We are pleased to partner with a globally renowned company of L3Harris Technologies’ stature for the launch of this joint venture, which unlocks exciting opportunities for the transfer of technology and expertise to Saudi Arabia.
“Our collaboration will further strengthen the Kingdom’s military capabilities, enable its self-sufficiency, and create high-quality career opportunities for skilled Saudi citizens.”
He added that the partnership would help toward achieving Saudi Arabia’s goal of localizing more than 50 percent of military equipment spending by 2030.
Charles Davis, vice president of L3Harris International, said: “We look forward to continuing to work closely with SAMI to support them in enabling the local defense industries in the Kingdom.”
L3Harris Technologies is the first US defense company to form a registered and operational joint venture with SAMI.
Since its inception in 2017, SAMI has been leading the Kingdom’s drive to develop a self-sufficient defense ecosystem through its fast-growing portfolio of military products and services.
SAMI, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), plays a vital role in supporting the sovereign wealth fund’s efforts in localizing cutting-edge technology and knowledge, as well as building strategic economic partnerships.