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Agreement Expands Embraer Foothold in Saudi Arabia

A new MOU with Saudi Arabian Military Industries will give the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer's C-390 Millennium a boost in the kingdom.

Embraer and a Saudi Arabian defense firm have entered into an agreement that promotes and expands the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer’s presence in the country, starting with its C-390 Millennium military transport aircraft.

Representatives of Embraer and Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI)—the country’s state-owned defense company—signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) establishing cooperation in the aerospace sector Wednesday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“This is the first step to advance cooperation in defense and security involving production chains between the two countries,” Bosco da Costa Junior, president and CEO of Embraer Defense and Security, said in a statement. “With this [MOU], Embraer advances further into a strategic market.”

The agreement sets the stage to expand operations for both companies in Saudi Arabia, “with a focus on promoting the capabilities of the C-390,” and supporting the country’s Ministry of Defense, Embraer said.

“SAMI and Embraer will work to establish comprehensive maintenance capability for the Embraer aircraft in the Kingdom. Additionally, both companies will explore a Regional MRO Hub and a final assembly line for the Embraer C-390, as well as a mission system integration in the Kingdom,” Embraer said. 

The MOU also establishes an aerospace sector training partnership between the two companies in Saudi Arabia, the company added.

The MOU is the latest in a string of international agreements aimed at localizing Saudi Arabia’s defense industry. In recent months, SAMI has entered into an maintenance agreement with France’s Safran Helicopter Engines, as well as with Turkey’s Baykar Tech for drone manufacturing.

“This growth in our business scope and capabilities highlights SAMI’s dedication to advancing and supporting the development of the aerospace ecosystem in the Kingdom,” SAMI CEO Walid Abukhaled said in a statement. “It is another important step in SAMI’s efforts in supporting the Saudi Vision 2030 to strengthen the Kingdom’s self-sufficiency in the defense sector and contribution to the localization of 50 percent of the defense spending In the Kingdom by 2030.”

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