Raytheon Saudi Arabia: Enabling indigenous supply chain and fostering a vibrant defense ecosystem in the Kingdom

Raytheon Saudi Arabia is an integral part of the Kingdom’s security. In addition to supplying combat-proven capabilities for the Saudi armed forces, as a local company, it is also a key driver of the country’s defense localization ambitions. Ahmad Al Salamah, Managing Director of Raytheon Saudi Arabia, an RTX business, provides more insight: 

Ahmad Al Salamah , Raytheon Saudi Arabia

Image courtesy: Raytheon Saudi Arabia

What makes the Saudi defense ecosystem an ideal environment for local based manufacturing projects? 

Saudi Arabia’s bold economic aspirations – spelled out first in Vision 2030 – set out a long-term plan for the Kingdom that focuses on a wide range of industries to transform the Kingdom into a diversified, knowledge-based economy. One of the key areas of this vision is the development of a strong domestic defense industry to help enhance the country's security, create high skilled jobs and drive economic growth. 

With localization at the heart of this plan, and the Kingdom having the infrastructure to achieve that, we are working closely with Saudi entities to bring manufacturing capabilities to the Kingdom and help integrate Saudi companies within RTX’s global supply chain. Today, for example, Zahid Industries has already started the production of Raytheon’s AN/TPY-2 missile defense radar’s major component, the Prime Power Unit (PPU), and very recently, we also announced that we are working with the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) towards qualifying a number of local companies to manufacture major components of Raytheon’s Patriot air and missile defense system. 

In short, a commitment to developing a strong supplier base and continuous coordination between government institutions is what we believe are enabling the Kingdom to position itself as an ideal environment for local manufacturing.

What are Raytheon’s most recent localization projects in the Kingdom?

The Patriot air and missile defense system has been a critical component of the Kingdom’s national defense, providing security for its critical infrastructure, citizens, and residents. We are exploring the manufacturing and testing of a number of key components (launchers, canisters, among others) within the Kingdom’s Patriot air defense system, with many of our local partners such as SAMI, AIC for Steel and Zahid Industries. This reaffirms our commitment to the Kingdom's defense industry, creating significant value and self-reliance to foster growth within the region, and supporting the Kingdom’s security and industrialization ambitions.

As MD of Raytheon Saudi Arabia, how do you plan to ensure the company continues to be a key partner in the Kingdom?

As part of RTX's dedication to making Raytheon Saudi Arabia a truly Saudi entity, I am proud to be the first Saudi national appointed to this role, leading the RTX-KSA partnership and working towards strengthening our relationship further. 

Our commitment extends beyond driving the country's industrial localization ambitions. We are also dedicated to supporting the country's human capital goals by indirectly providing highly skilled jobs for Saudis and residents through our various local production plans. Additionally, we host annual internship programs that offer Saudi students coaching, guidance, and on-the-job training from specialists and experienced personnel to help them jumpstart their careers. Today, Raytheon Saudi Arabia employs over 250 people in Riyadh and Jeddah, with Saudi nationals accounting for 60% of the workforce.

My ambition is to keep working closely with government and industry partners, and to leverage RTX’s global expertise, to ensure Raytheon Saudi Arabia is a key partner for the country’s vibrant defense ecosystem, an enabler of the indigenous supply chain, and one of the most desirable places to work for people in the Kingdom.