Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 September 2019

PIF-backed Saudi defence firm signs deal with L3 Technologies

Saudi Arabian Military Industries and L3 plan to collaborate on manufacturing military sensors and other special security projects

Saudi Arabian Military Industries's acquisition of a majority stake in a local defence company will boost its manufacturing capabilities. Reuters
Saudi Arabian Military Industries's acquisition of a majority stake in a local defence company will boost its manufacturing capabilities. Reuters

State-run Saudi Arabian Military Industries (Sami) agreed to form a joint venture with New York Stock Exchange-listed L3 Technologies, to collaborate in the manufacture of military sensors and other special security projects in the kingdom.

The Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, created Sami in 2017 to reduce reliance on foreign arms purchases. Sami’s mandate is to localise more than half of the kingdom’s total military spending, up from about 2 per cent currently, as part of the country’s Vision 2030 economic and social diversification plan.

The deal with L3 Technologies follows an earlier agreement between the two parties in February to explore options for a joint venture. “As we continue to support objectives tied to the Saudi Vision 2030, this long-term partnership with L3 will help grow the sensor and mission systems industry while creating a comprehensive through-life support structure for our military customers,” said Ahmed Al Khateeb, chairman of Sami.

“This venture with Sami, which includes research and development, manufacturing, training and sustainment activities, represents a key milestone in the further development and execution of L3’s international growth strategy, and will enable L3 to further establish a long-term presence within Saudi Arabia,” added Christopher Kubasik, chairman and chief executive of L3 Technologies.

Under the venture, the parties will collaborate on the development of electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) military sensors, and other advanced technologies for special mission systems for air, land and maritime vessels, according to Sagia. They will be developed at a dedicated research and manufacturing centre to be set up in the kingdom.

L3 Technologies is headquartered in New York and develops advanced defence technologies and solutions across weapons, space, maritime systems, aviation security, pilot training, night vision and EO/IR. The company reported full-year 2018 sales of $10.2 billion.

Sami is planning multi-billion dollar investments in 25 to 30 joint ventures over the next few years to build competence in shipyards, aircraft assembly lines and other infrastructure, and aims to reach $10bn in sales by 2025, its chief executive Andreas Schwer told The National at the International Defence and Exhibition Conference in Abu Dhabi in February.

Updated: June 24, 2019 02:03 AM

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