Arab News, Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021 | Rajab 11, 1442
Saudi Arabia signs first-ever military deal with UAE
Saudi Arabia, Emirates: Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), a
wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has signed a
cooperation agreement with Abu Dhabi-based NIMR, marking the first military
collaboration between Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The signing ceremony took place on the sidelines of the International Defence
Exhibition and Conference taking place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition
The agreement is the first step in a long-term joint venture between the two
companies, which will soon see SAMI receive a license to develop NIMR’s JAIS 4x4
Eng. Walid Abukhaled, CEO of SAMI, said: “We are pleased to witness the
culmination of our shared efforts over the past year as we ink this agreement to
transfer technology and knowledge to Saudi Arabia’s defence manufacturing
sector, and contribute to the Saudi Vision 2030 objective of localizing more
than 50 percent of military equipment spending by 2030.
“SAMI has selected NIMR as its preferred local partner due to its strategic
position as a key enabler of the Saudi Vision 2030. This achievement also
supports PIF’s efforts through SAMI in localizing cutting-edge technology and
knowledge, as well as building strategic economic partnerships.”
Faisal Al-Bannai, CEO and managing director of EDGE, NIMR’s parent company,
said: “Fostering strategic relationships is a key pillar of EDGE’s strategy, and
we look forward to building on this commitment with our colleagues at SAMI.
“This agreement represents the first military collaboration between Saudi Arabia
and the UAE and is a major step in boosting the already robust relations between
our respective nations.”
NIMR is part of a collection of 25 companies within the Abu Dhabi-based EDGE
Launched in May 2017, SAMI is a state-owned military industries company that is
aiming to localize 50 percent of Saudi Arabia’s total government military
spending by 2030.
On Sunday, SAMI signed an agreement to set up a joint venture with US firm
Lockheed Martin. The deal will enhance the Kingdom’s defense and manufacturing
capabilities, create jobs in the Kingdom and train Saudis to manufacture
products and provide services to the Saudi armed forces. SAMI will own a 51
percent stake in the venture.
Earlier today, Reuters reported that SAMI aims to generate annual revenues of $5
billion by 2030. “Being in the top 25 companies by 2030, you’re looking at $5
billion a year,” SAMI’s CEO told Reuters.