Saudi Arabia to Locally Produce Components for U.S. THAAD Missile System

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) has given the nod for two projects that aim to locally manufacture components for the U.S.-origin Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system.

The information was confirmed by Deputy Governor for the Industry Sector, Eng. Qassim bin Abdulghani Al-Maimani. Riyadh will now manufacture THAAD interceptor launchers and missile containers, SDArabia reported.

Lockheed Martin will invest more than $1 billion to localize its military manufacturing in Saudi Arabia, Ray Piselli, its vice president of international business, told broadcaster Asharq Business. Under the agreement with Lockheed, interceptor launchers and canisters for THAAD batteries will be manufactured in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s military industry regulator and the U.S. defense group said in a joint statement.

Another American company, Raytheon, told the outlet that it has planned to ship Patriot missile parts production to Saudi Arabia.

These announcements were made at the first ever edition of the World Defense Show in the gulf country.

Currently one of the biggest buyers of foreign arms, Saudi Arabia wants to localize more than 50% of expenditure on defense equipment and services by 2030 as part of a broad economic plan.

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