Saudi PIF subsidiary forms JV with Airbus on military aviation, MRO services

Move part of plans to localize military spends

  
A general view of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) exhibit is seen during the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates February 17, 2019.

A general view of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) exhibit is seen during the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates February 17, 2019.

REUTERS/Christopher Pike

Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) has signed an agreement with the French plane maker Airbus to form a joint venture on military aviation services and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) capabilities.

The announcement was made during the Saudi-French Investment Forum held on the sidelines of the visit of the French President Emmanuel Macron to the kingdom, SAMI said in a statement.

SAMI is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and the National Champion of Military Industries Localization.

This comes as a part of Saudi Arabia's moves to localize more than 50 percent of its military spending by 2030 to decrease imports and to create jobs for Saudi nationals.

The kingdom is one of the biggest military spenders in the region, having invested up to $57.5 billion in the industry according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

(Reporting by Brinda Darasha; editing by Daniel Luiz) 

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