The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defense and Navantia have signed a memorandum of understanding to construct multi-mission combat ships for the Royal Saudi Naval Force (RSNF).
The agreement will see the Spanish shipbuilder transfer related technologies to Saudi experts in support of the country’s Vision 2030 program, which seeks to enhance domestic construction, combat system integration, design, and ship maintenance.
Prototyping, simulation, logistical support, training, and systems verification will also be shared with indigenous experts.
“This MoU promotes the process of localization in the military industries sector by achieving the goals of the Kingdom’s vision to localize more than 50% of the total military spending by 2030… that will enhance the building of local industrial capabilities and various supply chains, as well as localization of human cadres,” Saudi Arabian General Authority for Military Industries Governor Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Ohali explained.
Sustaining Military Industry in Saudi Arabia
According to Navantia, the program supports Saudi Arabia’s efforts to protect its strategic and critical interests, bolster maritime security, and support the defense ministry’s operational goals.
The agreement is expected to improve Saudi’s global position in the military industry by leveraging its strategic location, which connects multiple continents and is an “ideal destination for investment” in the sector.
Navantia CEO and Chairman Ricardo Domínguez Garcia-Baquero signed the agreement with Al-Ohali and Saudi Arabian Executive Affairs Assistant Defense Minister Khaled bin Hussein Al-Bayari.
Saudi Arabian Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, officials, and dignitaries from both countries were also present during the event.
“This event is of great importance to the Ministry of Defense and a milestone in our cooperation with Navantia, as it intends to boost the RSNF’s naval capabilities, improving joint operations among all security and military agencies, and developing a sustainable local military industries sector, while increasing transparency with spending efficiency,” Al-Bayari said at the ceremony.