SAMI’s first Saudi-U.S. partnership begins operations
Underlining its commitment to building a robust indigenous defense industry ecosystem through global partnerships, Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has successfully launched a new joint venture (JV) with L3Harris Technologies, one of the world’s largest aerospace and defense systems manufacturers. SAMI L3Harris Technologies has been created with the goal of accelerating SAMI’s growth by developing advanced communication, sensor, and integrated mission systems capabilities in support of Saudi Arabia’s armed and security forces.
The launch of the JV, which encompasses the entire L3Harris Technologies portfolio of capabilities, was initiated through signing a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) by His Excellency Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Chairman of SAMI, and Christopher E. Kubasik, Vice Chairman, President, and COO, of L3Harris Technologies, at the Paris Air Show in June 2019. The JV achieved its commercial registration in August 2020 and is now fully operational.
Initially focusing on localization of L3Harris’ advanced communication and sensor products, the JV scope will expand to include prime contractor responsibilities for integrated mission systems and platforms, leveraging robust local industry partnerships. Together, the two parties aim to collaborate in areas, such as technical/specialized operator and maintenance training; Transfer of Production (ToP); and Transfer of Technology (ToT) through research and development programs in approved technologies.
Eng. Walid Abukhaled, CEO of SAMI, commented: “We are pleased to partner with a globally renowned company of L3Harris Technologies’ stature for the launch of this joint venture, which unlocks exciting opportunities for the Transfer of Technology (ToT) and expertise to Saudi Arabia. Our collaboration will further strengthen the Kingdom’s military capabilities, enable its self-sufficiency, and create high-quality career opportunities for skilled Saudi citizens. I have full confidence in the capabilities of the joint venture’s newly appointed leadership team and wish them every success in their endeavors as we continue to contribute to our overarching goal of supporting the localization of more than 50% of military equipment spending by 2030.”
Charles R. “CR” Davis, Vice President of L3Harris International, said: “The launch of this joint venture represents another important milestone in our journey to establish a long-term presence within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We look forward to continuing to work closely with SAMI to support them in enabling the local defense industries in the Kingdom. Through this joint venture, we will leverage L3Harris Technologies’ leadership in technology innovation with Saudi Arabia’s defense industry champion to provide advanced military capabilities and world-class research and development activities for the Kingdom.”
The SAMI L3Harris Technologies’ Board of Directors has appointed Hogan Wilson as Chief Executive Officer and Rayan Al Zamil as Chief Financial Officer of the new JV company.
L3Harris Technologies is the first U.S. defense company to form a registered and operational joint venture with SAMI. The collaboration creates a path for the localization of L3Harris Technologies’ world-leading communication, sensor, and integrated mission systems for the land, air, and maritime domains, in line with SAMI’s mandate to support the goals of Vision 2030.
Since its inception in 2017, SAMI has been leading Saudi Arabia’s drive to develop a self-sufficient defense ecosystem through its fast-growing portfolio of military products and services. SAMI plays a vital role in supporting PIF’s efforts in localizing cutting-edge technology and knowledge, as well as building strategic economic partnerships.