Lockheed Martin to deliver 2 satellites to Saudi Arabia


Saudi Gazette

— The global defense leader Lockheed Martin is delivering two satellites to the Kingdom toward the end of this year. That is being part of the big cooperation between the Kingdom and the company. To shed some light on this update and the role of Lockheed Martin in the Kingdom, Saudi Gazette met with Alan M. Chinoda, Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin Saudi Arabia in AFED (The Armed Forces Exhibition for Diversity of Requirements and Capabilities 2018) under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and under the directives of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the Minister of Defense. The exhibition is held from Feb. 25- March 3 at Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition.

“We have been in the Kingdom since 1965. We have collaborated in the Kingdom on multiple projects. However, recently we are looking at new projects, systems, and programs to partner with the Kingdom on,” he said.

“Our recent area of cooperation entails delivering two satellites to the Kingdom towards the end of this year. Besides we have the ships program which was recently signed last year, helicopters, and integrated air and missile defense,” he added.

Speaking of training Saudi engineers and scientists to be able to work and contribute to the satellite project, Chinoda emphasized: “We see training Saudi youth as a great opportunity for both Lockheed Martin and for the Kingdom. Because there is a lot of Saudi talent in engineering and science. But it is like the situation we have in the US where there are lots of graduate engineers and scientists from very good schools and then they have a degree but they do not have the experience. That is where we are looking into the partnership. We would be looking at taking Saudi engineers and training them in existing facilities outside the Kingdom and then bring them back”.

“We had 11 Saudi engineers with our space business area. They spent quite a while in our facilities and graduated. Now they are just back to the Kingdom. And they will be supporting the two satellites we are going to deliver to ArabSat and to the Kingdom,” he stressed.

Lockheed Martin has also other areas of cooperation than the satellite project. “One of the other areas of cooperation is a program on coproduction of Black Hawk helicopters here in the Kingdom. This will be considered a new set of capabilities to be brought to the Kingdom.”

“I cannot tell you how exciting the cooperation is with the Kingdom this time. The reason I say this is because we are seeing a tremendous transformation taking place right now with the promising Vision 2030, and we are seeing lots of opportunities and with this transformation Lockheed Martin is looking to invest and continue to partner with the Kingdom. We are honored to be here in the Kingdom. We look at it as an honor because we have a long relationship with the Kingdom and we will continue investing in this fruitful relationship. I would like to see us expand our cooperation here. In the last few years, I brought to our team nothing but Saudis,” he noted.