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Saudi Arabia Launches ‘SAMI’ for Military Industries | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Members of the Saudi security forces take part in a military parade in preparation for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca September 28, 2014. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Riyadh– Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday the establishment of a new national military industries company within the framework of Vision 2030.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Defense and Chairman of the Public Investment Fund, said that “Saudi Arabian Military Industries” (SAMI) would be a major contributor to the goals set out in Vision 2030, which states that 50 percent of Saudi Arabia’s military procurement spending will be localized.

Established by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), SAMI will manufacture products and provide services across four business units: air systems, which include maintenance and repair of fixed-wing aircraft as well as manufacturing and repair of unmanned air vehicles; land systems, which include manufacturing and repair of military vehicles; weapons and missiles – including ammunition -; and defense electronics, which include radars and sensors as well as communication systems and electronic warfare.

The government-owned company aims to become one of the world’s top 25 defense firms by 2030. It is expected to directly contribute around SAR 14 billion to the Kingdom’s GDP in 2030, invest over SAR 6 billion in research and development by 2030, and create over 40,000 jobs, many of which will be in the engineering and technical fields.

By partnering with universities, the company will provide students with apprenticeships and careers in cutting edge technologies which were previously unavailable in the Kingdom.

In line with Vision 2030, SAMI will contribute to diversifying the Saudi economy for the 21st century by reducing dependence on oil, while protecting and strengthening national security.

“While the Kingdom is one of the world’s top five spenders on security and defense overall, only around two percent of our military procurement is domestic,” Prince Mohammed said.

SAMI’s four business units closely complement the Kingdom’s future military requirements and build on existing local capabilities.

SAMI will establish companies through joint ventures with global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), as well as cooperating with local military companies. The firm will seek to create new business units, to ensure the company is aligned with the latest developments in the military industries sector.