RIYADH/LONDON: A Riyadh-based technology company is bracing up the Kingdom’s armed forces and its growing emphasis on military localization and intellectual property development.
In just over a year, Interstellar Solutions, an ambitious technology company under the aegis of venture firm RAZ Holding Group, has acquired multiple contracts for an integrated defense management system that it owns and maintains.
“We’re planning to build local capabilities and have the system as one of the pillars in the Saudi military sector,” Basim Al-Mohammadi, CEO of Interstellar Solutions, told Arab News.
“This will support the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 by localizing capability and creating an edge today to serve the country locally. We can also have the potential to serve international countries,” he added.
The company owns the G21 system, a web-based enterprise resource planning, or ERP, software that supports governments and the defense industry to perform aviation, ground and naval operations and missions. It also holds its intellectual property globally.
Al-Mohammadi, a retired navy colonel, said one of the unique aspects of the system is that it has been created and developed by former military personnel who understand the exact needs and requirements of combat readiness.
Curtis Massenburg, chief technology officer of the Riyadh-based company, explained that ERPs used for commercial purposes differ from those for defense. The former is mainly about saving money, while the latter is about saving lives and deterring wars.
“We quickly realized that we needed to start from the ground up to build the system, so we covered all nuances and automation required by the defense forces. Because of the differences, there must be a lot more automation. There has to be a lot more control to successfully defend a country and save lives,” he said.
The G21, the fifth version of which was released in March, is compatible with NATO and the US Department of Defense’s core systems and compliant with aerospace standards.
“One of the things we think is very critical for Saudi Arabia is that the intellectual property and the system’s control reside inside the Kingdom,” Massenburg said.
With the aim of becoming a significant player in the defense ERP domain, the company was set up in January 2021 to achieve the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and become a global leader in the aerospace and defense industry.
Massenburg said they had spent the past year supporting the local market and building partnerships with government defense bodies. They are ready to “move forward and make some waves in improving the technology in Saudi Arabia and the level of the personnel in the defense market.”
Al-Mohammadi said the company has a team of 15 men and women and aims to double or triple its workforce in the near term as it looks to extend its services to other Gulf countries.