Half of Saudi Arabia's Military Purchases To Be Local | World Defense

Half of Saudi Arabia's Military Purchases To Be Local

BLACKEAGLE

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Awad Mustafa12:40 p.m. EDT April 25, 2016


A Saudi soldier takes part in a military parade Jan. 15, 2005, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.(Photo: Abid Katib/Getty Images)

DUBAI — The world's third largest military spender, Saudi Arabia, is to direct 50 percent of its military purchases toward local industries.

According to Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud, the kingdom will launch a government-owned military holding company by the first quarter of 2017 to oversee the development of the local military industry.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia’s defense spending grew by 5.7 percent to $87.2 billion, making it the world’s third-largest spender, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, over taking Russia.

"Does it make sense that we are the world's forth largest military spenders in 2014 and third in 2015 and we do not even have a local military industry?" the 34-year-old prince said during his first televised interview on Al Arabiya television Monday, revealing the Saudi economic vision for 2030.

"We spend more on military than the [British], more than France, and we do not even have a local military industry," he said.

Prince Mohammed said that only two percent of the kingdom's military purchases go to local industry.

"We have a strong demand inside the kingdom for the development of a localized military industry. If we raise the local industry purchases to between 30 and 50 percent we will be able to develop a new, massive industry, which will boost the economy largely and create many jobs," he said.

The movement toward the localization, he said, will be through the restructuring of the military deals to mandate that part of the deal be tied to the local industry.

"Part of the policies rolled out now states that the Ministry of Defense and all security organizations are not allowed to sign any contracts with out a tie-up to local industry," he said.

A military industries holding company is currently being developed and is in its final stages, the prince said, which is to be launched by the end of 2016 or beginning of 2017.

"We are setting this company up in a completely transparent fashion where the citizen will have access to all the figures, deals and sales made by the company. We have down a great deal in its set up and now the final touches are being finalized," he said.

The prince also said that as part of the vision for 2030, the militaries standards rate will be raised to its highest levels.

"We cannot be the third largest military buyer in the world while our military is rated in the twenties when it comes to effectiveness; there is something wrong," the prince said.

"When I enter a military base in Saudi [Arabia], I see marble floors, designs and decorations in the walls with a five-star finish, while when I enter a base in the United States I see low ceilings, just cement without carpet on the floor, but their is hard work, so there is a high level of useless spending that will now be directed to raise the effectiveness of the Saudi security and military services while reducing the overall military spending," he said.
Half of Saudi Arabia's Military Purchases To Be Local
 

Falcon29

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The Saudi's should develop drone program, as this is crucial to anti-Houthi/AQ operations in Yemen, now that Yemen is unlikely to stabilize in the coming years, and even a truce is reached, Saudi's need to gather intelligence on arms smuggling there. Saudi's don't need armed drones right now, they should work on surveillance drones. Armed drones are not necessity in Yemen, there are not many high value targets, unless we're speaking underground Al Qaeda presence, but US is already conducting operations there with armed drones.

I wouldn't put any funding into R/D for fighter jets or attack helicopters. Saudi Arabia doesn't have funding for this but also lacks population demands for research. Also, the two other powers in the region, Turkey and Israel, are not taking up such initiatives either.

Instead, Saudi Arabia should expand Navy as it is doing currently, establish local productions for munitions and air dropped bombs(also doing), experiment armor cage concepts, because this is needed in urban warfare which Saudi might get into in the future(Actually is facing hit and run raids on the border). Syrian Army is experimenting with basic cages to neutralize anti-tank missile threat, Saudi Arabia has the resources to make proper ones. They should get into cruise missile development joint program with China, if not then Pakistan and Turkey. And lastly, keep improving missile defense layers in the country.

The rest of stuff, such as small arms, projectiles, rocket propelled grenades should be simple feat.
 
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Corzhens

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I think Saudi Arabia is already feeling the pinch of their military spending. A friend from Qatar said that Saudi Arabia is scared that soon there will be no more demand for oil. They should be saving money now but the war in Syria is taking their attention from the economy. That opinion has a basis because OPEC had a motion to decrease oil production but Saudi Arabia is adamant with its current production quota. So maybe there is a rush to sell oil so they can store money in case oil gets out of fashion.

And with the armaments, the economy will definitely benefit if they have their own production of military equipment.
 

remnant

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The Saudis got their strategy wrong from the beginning by adopting largescale military purchases as their principle source of armaments. I have seen a piece of information that before the military can master the use of a certain weapon, say, an advanced tank, another upgrade of the same is on the way. The Saudis should concentrate on weapons technology adoption as well as a homegrown defense industry as the viable alternative.
 

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