55% of military maintenance, repair work to be localized

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SOURCE: Saudi Gazette

Time: April 07, 2018

SEATTLE — Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and Boeing on Friday signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to set up a $450 million joint venture (JV) in the Kingdom to localize more than 55% of the Saudi Arabian fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter maintenance and repair work, according to a press statement issued by the information office of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in US.

Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, patronized the signing ceremony.

The agreement was signed by Ahmed Al-Khateeb, chairman of the board of directors of Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and Boeing CEO and chairman of board of directors Dennis Muilenburg.

The joint venture agreement will provide sustainment services for fixed- and rotary-wing military aircraft of the Kingdom’s defense services, and will be the sole provider of these services for all military aviation platforms of the Saudi military fleet.

The JV will also increase the localization of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul services (MRO), strengthening the Kingdom’s defense capabilities and enhancing its deterrent potential.

The agreement will transfer technology to install weaponry on these aircraft as well as localize the supply chain for spare parts in the Kingdom.

The agreement will create 6,000 jobs and training opportunities for Saudi youth, support local development, and augment the participation of Saudi nationals in the industry, contributing toward the objectives of the Kingdom’s comprehensive Vision 2030 plan.

The MoA will further solidify the enduring relationship between Boeing and Saudi Arabia and result in the development of local research, design, engineering, manufacturing, and MRO capabilities.

The JV will continuously improve performance and growth, upgrade the readiness of the Saudi military fleet, enhance maintenance capabilities, and reduce support costs throughout the fleet›s life.

Commenting on this important milestone, Al-Khateeb said, “Boeing has a long-standing commitment to Saudi Arabia, and is extremely keen on expanding its footprint in the country. Inspired by the vision of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, SAMI is also exploring all collaborative opportunities to build a strong autonomous military industries ecosystem in the Kingdom.”

“We deeply appreciate the trust that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in general, and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman personally, are placing in Boeing to help deliver Vision 2030 with this new joint venture,” said Muilenburg.

“Our relationship with the Kingdom dates back more than 70 years, and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership in support of the Kingdom’s national security and aerospace industry needs.”

Dr. Andreas Schwer, CEO of SAMI, added, “The MoA will enable SAMI and Boeing to play a key role in leading and laying the foundational framework for Saudi Arabia’s defense sector industrialization, in line with the goals of the Kingdom’s National Transformation Program and Vision 2030.”

“In addition to local sustainment capabilities, the inevitable partnership between the two companies could explore the creation of intellectual property as well.”

The JV will provide a foundation for future platform sales and for expanding Boeing’s presence in the Kingdom to support market growth in both the commercial and defense sectors.

Boeing’s partnership with Saudi Arabia dates back more than 70 years and is growing from strength to strength.

It began on Feb. 14, 1945, when US President Franklin D. Roosevelt presented a twin-engine Dakota DC-3 airplane (manufactured by Boeing›s heritage company Douglas Aircraft) to King Abdulaziz Al Saud.

This event also marked the birth of commercial air travel in the Kingdom.

Once the MoA is operational, the joint venture will open a new chapter of collaboration and innovation in this longstanding partnership.

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