The Boeing Co. committed to a partnership with Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), the goal of which will be a joint-venture business to localize over 55% of the MRO services for fixed and rotary-wing military aircraft in Saudi Arabia. Their "memo of understanding" also calls for transferring technology that will allow installation of weapons on those aircraft, and to localize the spare-parts supply chain in the Gulf kingdom.
The respective investments and ownership positions, as well as other details about the new venture were not revealed. Boeing stated its investment in Saudi facilities and equipment could reach $450M via this partnership.
The Boeing MoU follows a 10-year agreement reached in May 2017 between the U.S. and the Kingdome of Saudi Arabia, concerning military and commercial aircraft programs with major suppliers that include Boeing, Lockheed Martin Corp., and GE Aviation.
Boeing and Saudi Defense Ministry officials staged a signing ceremony April 2, in conjunction with HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman's visit to Boeing’s manufacturing operations in the Seattle area.
The joint venture projected by the MoU is evidence of the Saudi Vision 2030 program spearheaded by Mohammed bin Salman, seeking to reduce the Kingdom’s financial dependence on oil and to develop other economic sectors, including health, education, and infrastructure. Specific goals include strengthening foreign investment in the country and increasing non-oil trade, as well as increasing government spending on military and manufacturing programs.
"Boeing has a long-standing commitment to Saudi Arabia, and is extremely keen on expanding its footprint in the country,” according to SAMI chairman Ahmed Al-Khateeb, adding that his firm “is exploring all collaborative opportunities to build a strong autonomous military industries ecosystem in the Kingdom."