Ministry of Defense Signs Contract with Airbus for Four A330 MRTTs

The Ministry of Defense announced today the signing of a contract with Airbus Defense and Space to acquire four A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, aimed at enhancing the operational capabilities of the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF).
The contract was endorsed by Assistant Minister of Defense for Executive Affairs Dr. Khaled bin Hussein Al-Bayari, and Head of Air Power at Airbus Defense and Space Jean-Brice Dumont. Al-Bayari emphasized that these new aircraft will bolster the RSAF's capabilities in air-to-air refueling and transport missions, as well as strengthen the Ministry of Defense's capacity in troop and equipment transport operations, ultimately enhancing the Kingdom's defense capabilities.
Dumont highlighted that the A330 MRTT is the most capable new-generation tanker and transport aircraft globally, with 90% market share outside the USA and 82 orders from 15 countries. This marks the third contract signed by Saudi Arabia for the A330 MRTT, solidifying RSAF's position as one of the largest MRTT operators worldwide.
The agreement includes an Industrial Participation (IP) component aimed at developing the aviation industry in Saudi Arabia. This initiative involves establishing local manufacturing capabilities, nurturing talent in aircraft engineering, development, and repair, and enhancing safety, quality, and supply chains within the country. Additionally, the agreement facilitates technology transfer and the sharing of expertise related to the RSAF A330 MRTT with local companies. SAAMS, the joint venture between SAMI (Saudi Arabian Military Industries) and Airbus, will play a crucial role in industrial localization efforts, aligning with Saudi Vision 2030's goal to localize over 50% of military spending by 2030.
Earlier this year, the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) also signed an IP agreement with Airbus Defense and Space to localize the multi-role refueling aircraft industry and its constituent systems, ensuring compliance with global specifications and standards. This strategic move underscores Saudi Arabia's commitment to advancing its defense industries and localizing military equipment and services.

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