Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) announced Sunday the signing a contract with Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) for development and manufacture of the “SkyGuard” UAV. The strategic objective of this signing, lies in building a leading foundational base for technological innovation, both regionally and internationally.
SAMI also signed an Agreement with Prince Sultan Defense Studies and Science Research Center (PSDSARC), with the objective of further developing the UAV. “SkyGuard” is the outcome of numerous R&D efforts, undertaken by the Center and geared towards developing a truly local product, which is satisfactorily compliant with the operational requirements of end Users. Ultimately, this contributes to the overarching goal of achieving localization of more than 50% of expenditure on defense equipment and services, by the year 2030.
The signing ceremony was attended by Governor of GAMI Ahmad Al-Ohali, Vice Chairman of SAMI Dr. Ghassan AlShibl, CEO of SAMI Walid Abukhaled, and a number of key executives from the two entities, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Al-Ohali asserted that this signing is expected to add great value by increasing military readiness within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s defense ecosystem, and enhancing both field responsiveness and technical support, as well as expanding high-skilled job creation for Saudi human talent. Worth noting, is that such value addition forms part of the framework for incentivizing localization in the Kingdom’s defense sector, and supporting its Vision 2030 targets, adding that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia today is laying the foundation for transformative change in this promising sector for generations to come.
“Moreover, one of the biggest drivers of this change, is the undeniable empowerment that the Kingdom’s defense sector enjoys from its wise leadership", said Al-Ohali. He went on to applaud the unprecedented openness (and ease) of doing business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which cements its place across a multitude of domains, as a prime destination for investment,” Al-Ohali added.
SAMI CEO Abukhaled stated that this signing marks a step amongst many, in the Kingdom’s aspirational and inspiring localization journey. Abukhaled further noted the pertinence of this signing to building a robust local defense ecosystem, comprising indigenous supply chains that satisfy our strategic need to be self-sufficient.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia draws its Vision 2030 target of localization of defense expenditure from its core national priorities, namely military readiness, strategic autonomy, transparency and efficiency of spend, sustainability of local military industries, and interoperability within and across entities.