Deal-making offers Riyadh relief from arm sales woes

Published in GSN, 4 July 2019

Saudi Arabian Military Industries (Sami), the defence arm of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s favoured investment vehicle the Public Investment Fund (PIF), stepped up its deal-making activity in late June, with a string of acquisitions and joint ventures.

The deals are significant given the opposition that Saudi Arabia continues to face with its defence procurement efforts with suppliers in Europe and North America and indicate that Riyadh is accelerating its efforts to develop its indigenous defence industry.

Two deals emerged from the Paris Air Show, with an agreement with US-based L-3 Technologies Company to collaborate in developing electro-optical and infra-red technology in Saudi Arabia and a memorandum of agreement (MoA) signed with France’s Figeac Aero to establish a manufacturing facility for aircraft parts in the kingdom.

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