Under the patronage of Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Defence, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, a number of Saudi companies specialized in military and defence industries and Turkish defence companies signed in Riyadh Sunday an agreement and two Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to localize the drone industry and its component systems within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The agreement and MoUs are an extension of the two acquisition contracts signed by the Defence Ministry two weeks ago with Turkish defence company “Baykar” to raise the readiness of the Saudi Armed Forces and enhance the Kingdom’s defence and manufacturing capabilities.
During the ceremony held on this occasion, the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) signed a localization agreement with Baykar, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
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.
The CEO of SAMI, Eng. Waleed bin Abdulmajeed Abu Khaled, and the CEO of Baykar, Haluk Bayraktar, signed the localization agreement.
Moreover, the Saudi National Company for Mechanical Systems (NCMS) signed an MoU with Roketsan and Aselsan, two leading Turkish defence companies, to localize the production of ammunition and optical sensors for drones in the Kingdom.
Representing the Saudi side, the CEO of the MCMS, Eng Ali Abdulla Alashban, signed the MoU while the CEOs of the Turkish companies Aselsan and Roketsan, Ahmet Akyol and Murat Ikinci, respectively, signed on behalf of their companies.
Commenting on the signing, Assistant Minister of Defence for Executive Affairs, Dr. Khalid bin Hussein Al-Bayari, expressed his gratitude for the gracious patronage of the Minister of Defence, emphasizing the wise leadership’s keen interest and support in localizing military industries and enhancing manufacturing and defence capabilities in the Kingdom.
The Assistant Minister stressed that the localization agreement and the MoUs reflect the concerted efforts of the Ministry of Defence, 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 defence systems.
This achievement aligns with Saudi Vision 2030's target of localizing more than 50% of total military spending, he clarified.
Dr. Khalid indicated that they would also significantly contribute to the development of localization capabilities within the Kingdom through technology transfer, knowledge sharing, and training of Saudi personnel. This will not only strengthen local capabilities but also create valuable employment opportunities for the Saudi youth, he noted.
During the ceremony, the CEO of SAMI highlighted that the signing of the agreement and MoUs reaffirms the strong support and interest of the wise leadership in localizing the defence industries sector and advancing the goals of Saudi Vision 2030.
Additionally, Eng. Waleed emphasized that the localization agreement represents a major milestone for SAMI, positioning the company among the top 25 companies in this sector globally.