Feb 5, 2024
The Ministry of Investment (MISA) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) of the Kingdom and Leonardo announced yesterday the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the intention to discuss, develop and evaluate a range of investment and collaboration opportunities in the defence and aerospace sector. The announcement was made during an official ceremony held at the World Defence Show (Riyadh, 4-8 February).
Multiple areas of collaboration will be considered and explored under the MoU to include space industry, airframe MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul), localisation of electronic warfare systems and radars and assembly of helicopters. This MoU also offers the parties a focus on specialised areas of collaboration in both Combat Air and Cross-Domain Integration fields, where Leonardo is active on next generation technology initiatives and enabling demonstration projects. These areas could include uncrewed systems, integrated sensors, digital technologies, industrialisation processes and human capital development. The parties will also explore opportunities for the national supply chain in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and, more extensively, the country’s role for Leonardo in the region as well as the global value chain.
According to Stefano Pontecorvo, Chairman of Leonardo, "This signing represents an important opportunity to consolidate defence cooperation and strengthen a joint vision for future Combat Air operations. But it also represents a platform through which to jointly develop new technologies, through the experience and capabilities of the parties."
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Lorenzo Mariani, Leonardo’s Co-General Manager, said “We’re extremely pleased with this achievement announcing this MoU with MISA and GAMI. It allows us to develop a thorough evaluation of new collaboration opportunities in a wide range of fields, leveraging over 50 years of Leonardo’s presence and strong cooperation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We’re committed to working together to explore how we can strengthen our level of partnership with the Kingdom with high tech solutions and localised R&D, industrial and service capabilities.”
Over decades, Leonardo has been supplying to the Kingdom platforms, systems, technologies and services including passenger transport, energy support and rescue rotorcraft, electronic systems and sensors, maritime defence and cyber capabilities as well as providing a key contribution in the air defence domain, among others. This latest agreement represents the most recent step of Leonardo to reinforce its activities in the Kingdom, starting from the set up a regional hub in the Kingdom and creating new and multiple collaboration opportunities in a variety of sectors, benefitting from its long-established presence.
Collaborating with local technological partners, research establishments and end-users, Leonardo will be able to generate sustained development and production in the country. The MoU will significantly contribute to the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 aimed at the implementation of unprecedented reforms in the public sector, diversifying the economy, empowering citizens and businesses to reach their full potential and creating innovative growth opportunities.