IN NUMBERS: The Saudi Arabian Military Industries’ plan for 2020

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Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that spend the most on security and defense as its 2016 military spending amounted to 21% of total expenses.

Despite this massive expenditure, the share of localized military spending does not exceed 5% of the kingdom’s current total spending on armament, maintenance and spare parts.

Vision 2030 thus voiced the importance of localizing the sector of military industries and aims to increase the percentage of localized military spending to 50% by 2030.

This year’s budget allocated around 210 billion riyals to the military sector.

Saudi Arabian Military Industries
Saudi Arabian Military Industries

The Armed Forces Exhibition for Diversity of Requirements & Capabilities – AFED 2018 reflects the kingdom’s rapid action towards localizing military industries. More than 50 global European, American, Turkish, Korean and Chinese companies are interested in reaching deals with local factories to develop the Saudi military industry.

The Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) company was formed in 2017 as part of the Public Investment Fund’s efforts to develop the military industry and achieve the aims of Vision 2030.

According to the fund’s program for 2018-2020, SAMI’s contribution to the GDP is expected to reach 900 million riyals by 2020. The company is also expected to create 5,000 jobs by then.

SAMI aims to become among the largest 25 military industries in the world. It’s thus using the best technologies and competencies to develop military products according to global standards. Its strategy is based on extensive research and on coordinating work with local and international partners. The company has also begun negotiating with global companies to establish partnerships.

SAMI’s fields of work include:

Defense electronics: Manufacturing radars, sensors, routers, telecommunications, command and control systems

Arms, ammunition and missiles: Manufacturing medium and heavy weapons, artillery and guided-munition

Land system: Manufacturing tanks and vehicles’ structural systems and maintaining them and manufacturing spare parts and tanks and vehicles’ gear

Air system: Manufacturing fixed-wing aircraft’s spare parts and gear and manufacturing and maintaining drones

Emerging technologies: Manufacturing modern technologies like cybersecurity and guided weapons

The PIF supports SAMI’s plan which aims to develop the most modern technologies and manufacture military products and services.

All this aims to eventually localize 50% of military expenditure and to increase the private sectors’ contribution from 40% to 65% of GDP.

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