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SAMI launches joint ventures with French industry as aerospace sector grows

Saudi Arabia's SAMI is expanding its capabilities in aircraft component manufacture following the creation of JVs with Airbus and Figeac Aero. (Getty Images.)

Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) announced the creation of two joint ventures (JVs) with French industry on 4 December as part of the organisation's expansion into the aerospace industry.

The first JV agreement was signed with Airbus, covering maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) and service provision for military aircraft. The JV will be 51% owned by SAMI, and will be primarily based in Riyadh, with an additional presence at the Prince Sultan Air Base in Al-Kharj.

The JV is anticipated to commence operations in 2022 and will initially focus on providing support for the Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) and Airbus C295 aircraft. Support for additional platforms in the future may be considered, according to a statement from SAMI. The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) currently operates six Airbus A330-200 MRTT aircraft, while the Ministry of Interior operates four C295Ws.

SAMI also announced the signing of an agreement to create a JV with French aerospace components manufacturer Figeac Aero and the Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Company (Dussur). Figeac Aero will hold a minority stake in the company, while a partnership between SAMI and Dussur will hold the remaining majority share.

Known as SAMI Figeac Aero Manufacturing, the new business will involve an investment of around USD50 million to establish a facility in Saudi Arabia, which will commence production from 2024. Revenues from the first year of operation are expected to be approximately USD10 million. Serving both the military and commercial markets, the facility will produce titanium and aluminium components for aircraft and helicopters.

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