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THAAD Localization Efforts Align with Saudi Vision 2030 Objectives
Localizing components of the THAAD system enhances Saudi Arabia's defense manufacturing capabilities as part of the Saudi Vision 2030.
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THAAD Localization Efforts Align with Saudi Vision 2030 Objectives
by Clarence Oxford
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Feb 06, 2024

Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) has announced the award of two critical subcontracts to Saudi Arabian industry partners, marking a significant step in the production localization of components for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Weapon System. This initiative is part of a broader Localization Agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, aiming to enhance the country's manufacturing capabilities and strengthen its defense industry.

The awarded subcontracts facilitate the establishment of a second source for specific THAAD system components within Saudi Arabia. Middle East Propulsion Company (MEPC) in Riyadh and Arabian International Company (AIC) for Steel in Jeddah have been identified as the prime partners for these projects. These efforts are supported by additional subcontracts to various Saudi industry partners, emphasizing the collaborative approach to localizing defense manufacturing.

This development follows the project approvals by the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) during the 2022 World Defense Show, highlighting the strategic intent to localize the manufacture of THAAD interceptor canister and THAAD Missile Round Pallet within the Kingdom. Such localization aligns with Saudi Vision 2030's goals to develop and localize military industries, reducing reliance on international procurement and fostering domestic capabilities.

Joseph Rank, Lockheed Martin's chief executive for Saudi Arabia and Africa, highlighted the importance of these localization efforts, stating, "Our localization efforts in the Kingdom are progressing, and we're very proud to see that MEPC, AIC Steel, and other Saudi partners are now ready to engage in manufacturing and supporting key components of the THAAD Weapon System. It's a significant milestone." Rank further emphasized the dual benefits of improving regional security and supporting economic prosperity through job creation and the development of local industries, in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

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