WDS 2022: Saudi industry teaming with Lockheed Martin to produce parts for THAAD Terminal High Altitude Area Defense systems

According to Agnes Helou in Defense News, during the World Defense Show 2022 in Riyadh, GAMI (General Authority for Military Industries) announced it approved two local projects for the THAAD air defense system: the first for manufacturing missile interceptor launchers, and the second for producing the missile interceptor canisters.

Army Recognition Official Show Daily News and Web TV UMEX 2020 925 001
U.S. Army soldiers from B Battery, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Rgt, checks a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) launcher (Picture source: U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt Benjamin Wiseman)

In October 2017, Agnes Helou reminds, the U.S. State Department approved a foreign military sale to Saudi Arabia for THAAD and related support, equipment and services for an estimated cost of $15 billion. About a year later, in November 2018, the kingdom signed a letter of offer and acceptance with the United States for Lockheed’s THAAD. The projects are part of Saudi Arabia’s effort to domestically spend 50% of its money set aside for defense equipment and services by the year 2030, according to a statement by GAMI.

“Along this localization journey, and with the robust relations with our international defense partners, air domain defense readiness is expected to be greatly enhanced,” said Gasem Al-Maimani, GAMI’s deputy governor, said in a statement. “Lockheed Martin is engaged with its Saudi partners across several capacity-building programs that are formulated to contribute to the realization of the country’s development goals. This announcement will significantly boost global and regional security while supporting job creation and economic prosperity in Saudi Arabia,” said Joseph Rank, chief executive for Lockheed Martin in Saudi Arabia and Africa.