Saudi Arabia, France ink JV to build warships in Kingdom


Saudi Gazette report

State-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and France’s Naval Group plan to manufacture warships, frigates, and submarines in Saudi Arabia, SAMI’s Chief Executive Andreas Schwer said.

A memorandum of understanding to this effect was signed here on Sunday on the sidelines of the International Defense Exhibition (Idex), which is one of the leading shows in the industry.

SAMI, launched by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund in 2017, will hold 51 percent of the joint venture.

“Through design, construction and maintenance activities the joint venture will contribute significantly to further enhancing the capabilities and readiness of Royal Saudi Naval Forces,” Schwer said.

SAMI wants to raise local military procurement to 50 percent by 2030 from 2 percent today.

In November, it signed a deal with Spain’s state-owned Navantia SA to manufacture warships domestically.

The joint venture with the French is another sign that business with Saudi Arabia is proceeding apace.