Saudi Arabia could insist that spares for imported military hardware should be made within the country marking a major policy shift for one of the biggest arms importers in the world.
No contract for the supply of weapons would be concluded if production of spare parts took place in any other country and not in Saudi Arabia, according to the country's Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud.
"We are working on endorsing production of military products. We focus on increasing production for the needs of the military industry." Price Salman's comments were part of a televised interview yesterday given to MBC Broadcaster and quoted by various media.
Riyadh wants to create more jobs within the country and also make it a hub for defence equipment manufacturing. Neighbouring UAE has found considerable success in setting up local manufacturing facilities with international defence contractors.
Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest customers of American military hardware and the only country outside of NATO and Israel to receive the latest US weapons. In addition to spending on new weapons, Riyadh spends a considerable sum in buying spares and life-cycle support from US defence contractors.
Price Salman's comments could be seen in the light of US President Donald Trump's comments that the Gulf state was not paying for US military support. "Frankly, Saudi Arabia has not treated us fairly, because we are losing a tremendous amount of money in defending Saudi Arabia," he said.
By insisting on local manufacture of spares, Riyadh could lower cost of ownership and create high tech industries and jobs.
Russia has prepared a package of around US$3.5 billion arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which includes several divisions of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems
The US State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale worth $662 million to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for 26 AN/TPQ-53(V) radar systems and related support. Saudi Arabia intends to use Lockheed Martin manufactured AN/TPQ-53(V) radars to enhance its border security and modernize its armed forces with a more current capability to locate and counter the source of incoming ballistic artillery, rockets, and mortars, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency press release said
Saudi Arabia has reached an agreement with Lockheed Martin to purchase four Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ships worth US$6 billion. The deal is a part of overall $110-billion foreign military sale, and is expected to be announced during President Donald Trumps visit to Riyadh Saturday
Saudi Arabia plans to produce 16000 items for its armed forces locally by 2020. The long-term goal would be to focus on producing at least 50 percent of critical items used by the armed forces by 2030, Maj
Saudi Arabia will continue to share military intelligence with the US and will use the opportunity to strengthen ties with America during US president Donald Trumps visit to the kingdom. Saudi Arabia was not concerned about sharing intelligence with the United States, despite a storm over reports that Trump had discussed intelligence with Russia during a White House meeting last week, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir was quoted as saying by Saudi Gazette Friday
Saudi Arabia was every defence contractor's dream market- with no offsets clause and no local industry to provide servicing and spares, contractors raked in billions in after-sales service and life-cycle support. However, all that is about to change with the announcement of a new company, the state-sponsored Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) which will establish joint ventures with foreign companies to make equipment, systems and spares
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