RIYADH — The Saudi Ministry of Defense has signed a contract with Airbus Defense and Space Company to purchase four Airbus A330MRTT multi-role refueling aircraft, aimed at enhancing the operational capabilities of the Royal Saudi Air Force.

Assistant Minister of Defense for Executive Affairs Dr. Khaled Al-Bayari confirmed that the contract seeks to bolster the Royal Saudi Air Force's capabilities in air refueling, long-distance transportation, and logistical operations. It also aims to strengthen the Ministry of Defense's capacity in troop and equipment transport, furthering Saudi Arabia’s defense capabilities.

Head of Air Power at Airbus Defense and Space Jean-Brice Dumont highlighted that the Airbus A330 MRTT represents a new generation of transport and refueling aircraft, commanding approximately 90% of the market outside the United States with 82 orders worldwide. This contract marks the third collaboration with the Ministry of Defense in recent years, positioning the Royal Saudi Air Force among the largest operators of this aircraft globally.

The agreement will contribute to the development of Saudi Arabia's aviation industry, focusing on localizing expertise in aircraft engineering, development, repair, and enhancing safety, quality, and supply chains within the Kingdom. It includes the localization and technology transfer for this aircraft type through "SAMI Airbus," under the General Authority for Military Industries (SAMI).

This initiative aligns with SAMI's commitment to advancing Saudi Arabia's defense industries and localizing military equipment and services. Earlier this year, SAMI signed an industrial participation agreement with Airbus Defense and Space Company.

The goal is to localize the industry of multi-mission refueling aircraft and their components according to the latest international standards, supporting Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 objectives to localize more than 50% of military equipment and services expenditures by 2030.

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