23/02/2016 12:08

Turkish, Saudi defense firms form joint venture

State-owned Turkish and Saudi defense companies have founded a joint company to work on the field of defense electronics.

The Saudi Arabian Defense Electronics Company was founded with the joint efforts of ASELSAN, a Turkish Armed Forces Foundation company, and TAQNIA Defense and Security Technologies (DST), a subsidiary of Saudi development and investment company, said Hurriyet Daily News.

The sides have an even share of 50 percent over the company established in Saudi Arabia as a limited company which will work to operate in the field of radar, electronic warfare and electro-optic technologies.

The joint venture will enable for the design, development, production and sales of products in these fields and thus will supply not only Saudi Arabia’s but also the region’s needs.

The agreement to found the Saudi Arabian Defense Electronics Company was undersigned by Hamad al-Yousefi, the chief executive officer of TAQNIA DST, and Mustafa Murat Şeker, the chairman of ASELSAN.

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohammad al-Saud, president of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), and Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) head İsmail Demir also signed the agreement as witnesses for the joint venture. High-level state officials were also present during the signing of the company’s foundation.

Commenting on the foundation of the joint company, the KACST president said, “We are making an important investment for the establishment of this world class facility which will improve our country’s human resources, economic growth and development.”

“The important cooperation between the two countries over defense industries will contribute to the development of Saudi Arabia’s technologic innovation capacity,” he added.

Stating that the formation of the company would contribute to the strategic cooperation between the two countries, Demir said it would also help enhance regional peace and stability.

“This agreement will contribute significantly to the strategic cooperation the two countries are conducting in the fields of defense, economics and investment,” Demir said.

“The important partnership established between Turkey and Saudi Arabia will play a serious role in enhancing the region’s security, stability and peace,” he added.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia have recently increased their cooperation on defense issues.

Lastly, Turkish Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar’s visit to Saudi Arabia coincided with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s official visit to the country late January.

Four F-16 fighter jet belonging to Saudi Arabia were reportedly sent to Turkey to provide support in the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fight, Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz said on Feb. 14.