March 5, 2024
Business Defence & Security GCC Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia and Leonardo sign strategic partnership

Pact covers defence and aerospace advancements

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment and the General Authority for Military Industries have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Leonardo to explore, develop, and assess various investment and collaboration prospects within the defence and aerospace sector.

The announcement occurred during a formal ceremony at Riyadh’s 2024 World Defense Show (February 4-8, 2024).

Leonardo is a leading global aerospace, defence and security company based in Italy.

The MoU outlines multiple areas of collaboration to be considered, spanning the space industry, airframe Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO), localisation of electronic warfare systems and radars, and assembly of helicopters.

Specialised collaboration zones in combat air and cross-domain integration will also be explored, focusing on next-generation technology initiatives and demonstration projects, including uncrewed systems, integrated sensors, digital technologies, industrialisation processes, and human capital development.

This strategic partnership represents the latest step for Leonardo to bolster its activities in Saudi Arabia, commencing with the establishment of a regional hub and creating numerous collaboration opportunities across sectors.

Saudi focus

The MoU is expected to significantly contribute to the goals outlined in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, driving reforms in the public sector, diversifying the economy, empowering citizens and businesses, and creating innovative growth opportunities.

Leonardo aims to foster sustained development and production within Saudi Arabia by collaborating with local partners, research establishments, and end-users.

Leonardo’s Chairman, Stefano Pontecorvo, highlighted the significance of the signing, stating: “This signing represents an important opportunity to consolidate defence cooperation and strengthen a joint vision for future combat air operations. But it also represents a platform through which to develop new technologies, through the experience and capabilities jointly of the parties.”

Lorenzo Mariani, Leonardo’s Co-General Manager, expressed enthusiasm about the achievement: “We’re extremely pleased with this MoU with MISA and GAMI. It allows us to develop a thorough evaluation of new collaboration opportunities in a wide range of fields, leveraging over 50 years of Leonardo’s presence and strong cooperation in Saudi Arabia.”

Over the decades, Leonardo has been a critical supplier to Saudi Arabia, providing platforms, systems, technologies, and services across various sectors, including passenger transport, energy support, rescue rotorcraft, electronic systems and sensors, maritime defence, and cyber capabilities.

Featured image: Leonardo and Saudi officials, after signing the strategic partnership at the World Defense Show 2024 in Riyadh. Image: Leonardo

Last Updated on 2 weeks by Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, space, aerospace, aviation, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, fashion, and automotive verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally and protecting the world’s oceans from plastic pollution, overfishing, and climate change. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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