Farnborough, UK: SAMI Composites LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of SAMI, the Saudi defense national champion, announced that it has signed an agreement with Lockheed Martin, a leading global security and aerospace company, to develop a Composites Manufacturing Center of Excellence in Riyadh with the support of the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI), to boost Saudi Arabia’s aerospace manufacturing capabilities.
The agreement was inked on the sidelines of the 2022 edition of Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) in the United Kingdom by CEO of SAMI Group Eng. Walid Abukhaled and Vice President of International Business at Lockheed Martin Ray Piselli, in the presence of Governor of GAMI Ahmad bin Abdulaziz Al-Ohali.
The Composites Manufacturing Center of Excellence forms part of SAMI’s efforts to develop a sustainable and self-sufficient defense industries sector in Saudi Arabia, in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 goal of localizing more than 50% of the Kingdom’s expenditure on defense equipment and services by 2030.
The new composites manufacturing center will help Saudi Arabia build its aerospace manufacturing capabilities to produce cutting-edge solutions in the future. SAMI Composites LLC and Lockheed Martin will assess and develop the center in a phased manner and will also focus on national talent development.
Commenting on the agreement, Governor of GAMI Ahmad Al-Ohali, said: “GAMI supports strategic cooperation, such as these, between local manufacturers and global industry Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). We look forward to the Composites Manufacturing Center of Excellence further bolstering Saudi Arabia’s strategic autonomy within the air domain, and more broadly in the defense sector.”
Eng. Walid Abukhaled, CEO of SAMI, said: “Our relationship with Lockheed Martin has proven invaluable across the years, and today marks another milestone for our two companies and for Saudi Arabia’s promising aerospace sector.”
For his part, Vice President for International Business at Lockheed Martin Ray Piselli, commented: “Lockheed Martin is committed to partnering with SAMI in its efforts to achieve Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. Through industrial partnerships, specialized knowledge transfer programs, and human capital development initiatives, we will continue our efforts to develop the Saudi industry.”
CEO of SAMI Composites LLC John Flavin said: “SAMI Composites LLC will be Saudi Arabia’s composites manufacturing hub furnished with state-of-the-art equipment and materials. The Composites Manufacturing Center of Excellence will develop a skilled Saudi workforce to produce in-demand composite components and assemblies for both defense and commercial aerospace platforms.”