Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense and the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Spanish state-owned firm Navantia to acquire and build a number of multi-mission combat ships for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF).
The MoU intends to raise the level of readiness of RSNF to enhance maritime security in the region. Further, it aims to protect the vital and strategic interests of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and support the strategic, operational, and tactical goals of the Ministry of Defense.
The agreement stipulated that the Spanish company would localize up to 100 percent of naval shipbuilding, integration of combat systems, and ship maintenance, in line with the Kingdom’s objectives and Vision 2030.
The MoU focuses on integrating combat systems into new combat ships, systems design and engineering, hardware design, software development, testing, verification systems, prototyping, and simulation, as well as logistical support and training program design.
“This memorandum promotes the march of localization in the military industries sector by achieving the goals of the Kingdom’s vision to localize more than 50 percent of the total military spending by 2030, which will enable it to achieve the national priorities represented in In strengthening the strategic independence of the Kingdom, in addition to developing a sustainable local military industries sector that enhances the building of local industrial capabilities and various supply chains, in addition to the localization of human cadres.”
On this occasion, the Assistant Minister of Defense for Executive Affairs, Dr. Khalid Al-Bayari, confirmed that “this memorandum of understanding comes within the vision of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, to create a base for advanced marine industries in the Kingdom, as well as in accordance with the directives of Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Defense, with the aim of raising the readiness of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s armed forces, sustaining systems, localizing military industries, and maximizing the use of local content.”
For his part, the President and CEO of the Navantia, Mr. Ricardo Domínguez Garcia-Baquero, expressed his happiness over the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Saudi Ministry of Defense to build a number of multi-tasking combat ships, after the success of the first project, the “Sarawat” Project, which is a qualitative leap for Navantia and RSNF.