Saudi Arabia signed a preliminary agreement on Sunday with France’s Naval Group to build warships in the kingdom, as part of its efforts to develop domestic manufacturing capabilities.
The Saudi government-backed firm will hold a 51% stake and the French naval defence company will have the rest.
The new company will develop, engineer and manufacture frigates, corvettes and possibly submarines, the chief executive officer of Saudi Arabian Military Industries, Andreas Schwer, said in Abu Dhabi.
SAMI, as the company is known, wants to raise local military procurement to 50% by 2030 from 2% today, though it’s unclear how it could reach that target in so short a time. In November, it signed a deal with Spain’s state-owned Navantia SA to manufacture warships domestically.
The joint venture with the French is another sign that business with Saudi Arabia is proceeding apace despite international condemnation of the murder of government critic Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate in October.
Source: Arabian Business