The Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and Spanish firm Navantia on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to create a joint venture that will manage and localize naval combat systems activity including integration and installation.
The signing ceremony took place in Madrid during the official visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in his presence along with the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy.
The MoA was signed by Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Chairman of SAMI, and Esteban García Vilasánchez, Chairman of Navantia.
Both parties also inked a Letter of Intent (LoI) to design and build five Avante 2200 corvettes including Combat Management System, for the Ministry of Defense of Saudi Arabia.
Al-Khateeb, Chairman of SAMI, explained that the agreement comes in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and following the announcement of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to localize 50 percent of the total military spending by 2030.
“As one of the ambitious outcomes of the Crown Prince’s vision, SAMI is currently exploring all collaboration and localization opportunities to build a strong autonomous military industries ecosystem,” he said.
“Navantia is committed to partnering with Saudi Arabia and determined to expand its presence in the Saudi and regional market,” Al-Khateeb added.
Once operational, new joint venture (JV) will focus on program management and combat system integration and installation, system engineering, system architecture, hardware design, and software development, testing and verfication, prototyping, simulation, and modelling.
Saudi fleet readiness
Esteban García Vilasánchez, Chairman of Navantia, said: “We are delighted to be working with our friends in Saudi Arabia, and we are proud of the trust Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman places in Navantia, and our ability to contribute to achieving the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030 through this joint venture. The historical relationship between the two kingdoms [Spain and Saudi Arabia] dates back more than six decades, and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership in support of the Kingdom’s national security and technology development needs.”
The MoA will further solidify the relationship between Navantia and Saudi Arabian Military Industry company (SAMI). The resulting JV will contribute in maintaining the readiness of the Saudi military fleet.
In addition, the agreement will create approximately 1,000 jobs and training opportunities for Saudi youth, and augment the participation of Saudi nationals in the industry, contributing towards the objectives of the Kingdom’s comprehensive Vision 2030 plan.