SAMI and Airbus to Form Joint Venture for Military Aviation MRO and Services
The announcement of the agreement was made on the sidelines of the visit of the French President Emmanuel Macron to Saudi Arabia
On 4th December, Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and the National Champion of Military Industries Localization, announced that it has signed an agreement with Airbus to form a joint venture on military aviation services and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) capabilities.
The announcement of the agreement was made on the sidelines of the visit of the French President Emmanuel Macron to Saudi Arabia. Eng. Walid Abukhaled, CEO of SAMI, and Bruno Even, Member of the Airbus Group Executive Committee signed the agreement for the formation of the joint venture. The transaction is subject to closing conditions, including antitrust clearances from the relevant competition authorities.
SAMI CEO Eng. Walid Abukhaled commented on the agreement and said, “We are pleased to partner with Airbus for the launch of this joint venture. The new Saudi entity will capitalize on Airbus’ extensive experience and leading-edge capabilities to pave the way for the rapid growth of the military aviation services sector in Saudi Arabia. In addition to accelerating the transfer of technology and expertise to the Kingdom, the agreement will further strengthen the local supply chain and help ensure the self-sufficiency of the national defense sector.”
The joint venture will be headquartered in Riyad with some presence at the Prince Sultan Air Base in Al-Kharj and is expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2022. SAMI will hold a 51% share in the joint venture and rest 49% be owned by Airbus. The focus of the joint venture will be on building up a robust and sustainable aviation services sector thriving on local capabilities and talent, as well as strengthening the local supply chain within the industry.
Commenting on the announcement, H.E. Mr. Ahmed bin Aqeel Al-Khateeb, Chairman of SAMI, said: “The signing of today’s joint venture agreement with Airbus represents another important milestone on our journey to establish SAMI as a local and regional leader in the defense industry. This strategic partnership is in line with SAMI’s vision to be among the world’s top 25 defense companies and the Saudi Vision 2030 objective to localize more than 50 percent of the Kingdom’s military spending by 2030. This also comes as part of our long-term strategy of partnering with leading global aerospace players. We look forward to working together to enhance local capabilities and develop a robust and sustainable aviation MRO ecosystem.”
The joint venture is expected to play a major role in the development of the military industries sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to create new quality jobs for its people, strengthen the Kingdom’s defense self-sufficiency, and drive growth in the national economy in line with the objectives of Vision 2030.