Saudi Arabia, Spain ink deal to build combat ships for Saudi Navy

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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Spanish company Navantia to build multi-mission combat ships for the Saudi Navy, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Thursday.

“The MoU aims to raise the level of readiness of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces to enhance maritime security in the region and protect the vital and strategic interests of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and support the strategic, operational and tactical goals of the Ministry of Defense,” it said.

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According to the agreement, the Spanish company “would localize up to 100 percent of naval shipbuilding, integration of combat systems, and ship maintenance, in line with the Kingdom’s objectives and Vision 2030.”

The MoU focuses on integrating combat systems into new combat ships, systems design and engineering, hardware design, software development, testing, verification systems, prototyping, and simulation, as well as logistical support and training program design.

Ahmed al-Ohali, governor of the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI), said: “This memorandum promotes the march of localization in the military industries sector by achieving the goals of the Kingdom’s vision to localize more than 50 percent of the total military spending by 2030, which will enable it to achieve the national priorities represented in strengthening the strategic independence of the Kingdom, in addition to developing a sustainable local military industries sector.”

The signing ceremony was attended by Saudi Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman and Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism María Reyes Maroto.

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