Saudi Arabia’s defense industry regulator announces partnership with Raytheon

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The General Authority for Military Industries announced on Saturday the signing of a partnership agreement with Raytheon Saudi Arabia with an aim to localize the maintenance and renewal of the Patriot missile defense system.

This agreement falls in line with the goals of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 that seeks to diversify the economy away from oil and grow multiple different industries. In regards to the military and security sector, the plan aims to support investment in local industry and expand opportunities for qualified nationals with an aim to eventually localize half of all military expenditure over the next decade.

The relationship between Saudi Arabia’s military sector and Raytheon goes back more than 50 years, but this agreement differs due to its aim to establish an industrial base within the Kingdom.

In November 2018, Saudi and US officials signed letters of offer and acceptance formalizing terms for Saudi Arabia’s purchase of 44 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) launchers, missiles and related equipment. In July 2019, another American arms manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, was awarded a $1.48 billion contract to build the THAAD missile defense system for Saudi Arabia. Raytheon will build the system’s advanced radar.

The THAAD system is designed to shoot down short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

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