Saudi & Turkish companies sign deals to localize drone industry

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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Saudi & Turkish firms sign deals
Saudi Assistant Minister of Defense for Executive Affairs, Dr. Khalid bin Hussein Al-Bayari | Courtesy: SPA

Under the patronage of Minister of Defense, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, several Saudi companies specialized in military and defense industries, and Turkish defense companies have signed an agreement and two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) in order to localize the drone industry and its component systems within the Kingdom.

The agreement and MoUs are an extension of the two acquisition contracts signed by the Defense Ministry with Turkish defense company ‘Baykar’ to raise the readiness of the armed forces and enhance the Kingdom’s defense and manufacturing capabilities.

During the ceremony, the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) has signed a localization agreement with Baykar.

The agreement focuses on the manufacturing of electronic systems, mechanical components, and drone structures using composite materials, as well as encompassing manufacturing, final aviation testing, and the provision of training and support services.

Eng. Waleed bin Abdulmajeed Abu Khaled, CEO of SAMI, highlighted that the signing of the agreement and MoUs reaffirms the strong support and interest of wise leadership in localizing the defense industries sector and advancing the goals of Saudi Vision 2030.

The CEO of SAMI further emphasized that the localization agreement represents a major milestone for SAMI, positioning the company among the top 25 companies in this sector globally.

The Saudi National Company for Mechanical Systems (NCMS) has signed an MoU with Roketsan and Aselsan, two leading Turkish defense companies, in order to localize the production of ammunition and optical sensors for drones in the Kingdom.

The Saudi Assistant Minister of Defense for Executive Affairs, Dr. Khalid bin Hussein Al-Bayari, expressed his gratitude for the gracious patronage of the Minister of Defense, emphasizing the wise leadership’s keen interest and support in localizing military industries and enhancing manufacturing and defense capabilities in the Kingdom.

The Assistant Minister stressed that “the localization agreement and the MoUs reflect the concerted efforts of the Ministry of Defense, in coordination with the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) as the legislative authority for the military industry sector, and the General Authority for Defense Development (GADD), responsible for defining research, development, and innovation objectives in technology and defense systems. This achievement aligns with Saudi Vision 2030’s target of localizing more than 50 percent of total military spending.”

Related: Saudi Arabia pens executive defense cooperation plan with Turkey