Saudi Arabia’s defense ministry signed a memorandum of understanding with Spanish state-owned company Navantia to build multi-mission combat ships for Saudi Arabia’s Navy.
According to the Saudi state news agency, 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.
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.
Navantia will 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.
Vision 2030 is the plan by Saudi Arabia to diversify its economy away from exclusively oil.
The MoU also aims to help strengthen the Kingdom’s global position in the military industries sector, especially through its strategic geographical location that connects three continents, which makes it the ideal destination for investment in this sector.
The Saudi Ministry of Defense sees the MoU as a milestone in its military capabilities.
There has been a relationship between Navantia and Saudi Arabia since 2018. In July 2018 it was first announced that Navantia had signed an agreement with the Royal Saudi Navy for the production of five Avante 2000 corvettes with the last to be delivered by 2022 at a cost of approximately 2 billion Euros.
The new memorandum was signed by His Excellency the Assistant Minister of Defense for Executive Affairs, Dr. Khaled bin Hussein Al-Bayari, and from GAMI, Eng. Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Ohali, Governor of the Authority, and from the side of the Spanish company, Navantia the CEO and Chairman Mr. Ricardo Domínguez García-Baquero.
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