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Saudi Defense Ministry Signs Contract for 4 Airbus A330 MRTTs

The Saudi Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday the signing of a new contract with Airbus Defense and Space, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Under the contract, Saudi Arabia will acquire four A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, to enhance the operational capability of Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF).

Assistant Minister of Defense for Executive Affairs Dr. Khaled bin Hussein Al-Bayari signed the contract on behalf of the Saudi Defense Ministry, while Head of Air Power at Airbus Defense and Space Jean-Brice Dumont represented Airbus. Several Saudi defense officials attended the signing ceremony.

Saudi Defense Ministry Signs Contract for 4 Airbus A330 MRTTs
Signing ceremony

On this occasion, Al-Bayari confirmed that the new aircraft will enhance the operational capabilities of RSAF in air-to-air refueling and transport missions, in addition to bolstering the Defense Ministry’s capabilities in troops and equipment transport operations and developing the Kingdom’s defense capabilities.

Saudi Defense Ministry Signs Contract for 4 Airbus A330 MRTTs

Meanwhile, Dumont said that the A330 MRTT is a new-generation tanker and transport aircraft, which has a market share of 90% outside the US and 82 orders from 15 countries. He added that this is the third contract with the Saudi Ministry of Defense in the past few years, making the RSAF one of the world’s largest operators of the A330 MRTT.

Industrial Cooperation

Earlier this year, the Saudi General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) signed an Industrial Participation (IP) agreement with Airbus Defense and Space to localize the industry of multi-role refueling aircraft and its systems according to the latest global specifications and standards. This aligns with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to localize more than 50% of military spending by 2030.

The IP agreement will contribute to developing industrial capacities that support the aviation industry in Saudi Arabia. It will also transfer and localize the technology and knowhow of RSAF A330 MRTT to local companies. Hence, SAAMS, a joint venture between Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and Airbus, will play a pivotal role in industrial localization efforts.

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