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KSA: Saudi Arabia’s aerospace and defense sectors are poised for a significant boost following a landmark partnership agreement with Italy-based Leonardo. The Ministry of Investment of the Kingdom sealed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Leonardo during the World Defense Show in Riyadh on Sunday, signaling a new era of collaboration in defense and aviation endeavors.

Stefano Pontecorvo, chairman of Leonardo, expressed the importance of this collaboration, stating, “This signing represents an important opportunity to consolidate defense cooperation and strengthen a joint vision for future Combat Air operations.”

The agreement entails a multifaceted approach, with the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) set to collaborate with Leonardo to explore opportunities in various sectors, including space, airframe maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), and the localization of electronic warfare systems and radars.

According to Lorenzo Mariani, co-general manager of Leonardo, the deal is poised to play a pivotal role in advancing Saudi Arabia’s research and development efforts in the defense sector. Mariani emphasized, “We are committed to working together to explore how we can strengthen our level of partnership with the Kingdom with high-tech solutions and localized R&D, industrial and service capabilities.”

The World Defense Show serves as the backdrop for this groundbreaking partnership, underscoring its global significance. With over 750 exhibitors from 77 countries participating, the event is positioned as a key platform for innovation and technological discourse in the defense industry. Founded by GAMI, the show covers five crucial domains: air, land, sea, space, and security, bringing together military stakeholders, Saudi leadership, and industry decision-makers.

The event’s focus on future-readiness emphasizes the commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements and addressing emerging challenges in defense and security. As the show continues through February 8, it remains a focal point for discussions and collaborations aimed at shaping the future of the defense sector.