First Lt. Engr Abdullah Hussain Al Khoori
First Lt. Engr Abdullah Hussain Al Khoori and Mohammad Al Saadi from Abu Dhabi Police at a pavilion during Idex 2019. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: UAE-based companies are boosting their cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the defence sector as ties between the two countries strengthen.

Al Seer Marine, an Abu Dhabi-based manufacturer of unmanned surface vessels, has announced a strategic partnership agreement with Advanced Electronics Company (AEC), a Saudi-based company.

The primary aim of this collaboration is to build unmanned surface vessels for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Al Seer Marine will be the primary manufacturer for unmanned surface vessels in KSA and AEC will be their exclusive partner in the Kingdom, according to a statement on Wednesday.

“Our strategic partnership offers tremendous growth potential and we are confident that we will enhance our support to the KSA defence forces. This partnership strengthens Saudi-UAE collaboration in key defence sectors,” said Abdulaziz Al Duailej, CEO and President of AEC.

In another announcement, Calidus of Abu Dhabi signed a Memorandum of Understanding with GDC Middle East of Riyadh to establish a joint corporation to explore the market in the Mena region for the Calidus B-250 light attack aircraft and to develop in-house capabilities.

B-250, which is manufactured in the UAE, has multi-role capabilities including close air support, counter-insurgency and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for modern warfare. It can also serve as a trainer.

Major General (retired) Abdullah Al Syed Al Hashemi, Calidus senior vice-president, said: “Our agreement with GDC Middle East is another important step in our progress in extending the capability of the regional defence sector. We look forward to sharing our expertise with GDC and working together to build the market for the B-250 across the Middle East and North Africa.”

Mubadala Investment Company and Saudi Arabian Military Industries (Sami) are also collaborating across aerospace, defence manufacturing, maintenance, repair and overhaul, research and development and engineering, the two firms said earlier this week.

Sami, created in 2017 and owned by Public Investment Fund, is playing an important role in the development of defence sector in the Kingdom. The company expects to contribute over 14 billion riyals ($3.7 billion) to the Kingdom’s annual gross domestic product, with an investment of over 6 billion riyals ($1.6 billion) towards research and development processes, and creation of 40,000 job opportunities for Saudi youth.