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Leonardo and Saudi Arabia sign defence and aerospace collaboration agreement

International defence, security and aerospace company Leonardo has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

International defence, security and aerospace company Leonardo has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Leonardo, partially owned by the Italian government, and Saudi Arabia will collaborate in areas of aerospace and defence, according to a statement released by the company on 5 February.

It also covers Leonardo’s capabilities on space, rotorcraft, electronics and sensors, combat air, cross-domain integration, uncrewed systems, digital technologies, industrialisation and services under the agreement signed by the Ministry of Investment (MISA) and the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) and announced during an official ceremony at World Defense Show in Riyadh.

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“This signing represents an important opportunity to consolidate defence cooperation and strengthen a joint vision for future combat air operations,” according to Leonardo chairman Stefano Pontecorvo.

“But it also represents a platform through which to jointly develop new technologies, through the experience and capabilities of the parties.”

The Ministry of Investment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the General Authority for Military Industries of the Kingdom will discuss, develop and evaluate a range of investment and collaboration opportunities in the defence and aerospace sector with Leonardo.

Multiple areas of collaboration will be considered and explored under the memorandum of understanding to include space industry, airframe maintenance, repair and overhaul, localisation of electronic warfare systems and radars, and assembly of helicopters.

The memorandum of understanding also offers a focus on specialised areas of collaboration in both combat air and cross-domain integration fields, where Leonardo is active on next-generation technology initiatives and enabling demonstration projects.

These areas could include uncrewed systems, integrated sensors, digital technologies, industrialisation processes and human capital development. The parties will also explore opportunities for the national supply chain in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and, more extensively, the country’s role for Leonardo in the region as well as the global value chain.

“We’re extremely pleased with this achievement announcing this MOU with MISA and GAMI,” according to Leonardo co-general manager Lorenzo Mariani.

“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 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“We’re committed to working together to explore how we can strengthen our level of partnership with the kingdom with high-tech solutions and localised research and development, industrial and service capabilities.”

Leonardo has previously supplied Saudi Arabia with platforms, systems, technologies and services including passenger transport, energy support and rescue rotorcraft, electronic systems and sensors, maritime defence and cyber capabilities as well as providing a key contribution in the air defence domain, among others.

The agreement will significantly contribute to the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 aimed at the implementation of unprecedented reforms in the public sector, diversifying the economy, empowering citizens and businesses to reach their full potential and creating innovative growth opportunities.

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