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WDS 2022: Saudis gain industrial workshare on THAAD programme

7th March 2022 - 12:15 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Representatives of GAMI and THAAD OEM Lockheed Martin, pictured after their announcements on 7 March at WDS 2022. (Photo: GAMI)

Agreements between GAMI and Lockheed Martin will see production in Saudi Arabia of THAAD interceptor launchers and canisters.

The General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI), which regulates the defence industry in Saudi Arabia, used the World Defense Show in Riyadh on 7 March to announce its approval of two industrial workshare programmes in collaboration with Lockheed Martin.

One programme is for the manufacture of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile interceptor launchers and the other covers the local production of missile interceptor canisters.

Gasem Al-Maimani, GAMI deputy governor, said the two projects support investment in building indigenous national capabilities ‘via empowering new and up-and-coming manufacturing entities’.

The Saudi government expects the domestic defence industry to achieve a strategic localisation target of 50% workshare by 2030.

THAAD is a vital programme for Saudi Arabia, which repeatedly suffers missile and UAV attacks from Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The US approved a $15 billion FMS deal in October 2017 to sell THAAD systems and support services to Saudi Arabia. The deal included 44 THAAD launchers, 360 interceptor missiles, 16 mobile fire control units and seven AN/TPY-2 THAAD radars, with Lockheed Martin as prime contractor and systems integrator.

A $945.9 million Saudi THAAD FMS support contract for Lockheed Martin from the MDA, awarded in March 2019, was followed by a $610.46 million contract for Phase II in March 2021.

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