In November 2022 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom, under the guidance of the Saudi Defence Minister H.R.H Prince Khalid bin Salman, and the UK Defence Secretary the Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP, signed a military cooperation plan, with the aim of developing localised production and to strengthen the defence partnership between the two countries.
To follow the signing of the military cooperation plan, the Aardvark Group was honoured to participate in the KSA – UK Cooperation Plan Workshop from 24th to 26th Jan 2023 under the auspices of the Industrial Cooperation Committee [ICC] which provided a powerful opportunity to focus on real Defence and Security opportunities in Kingdom, the strength of the rapidly developing Sovereign Defence Industry and better understand the requirements to meet the Kingdoms ambitious Defence Industry Localisation targets.
The workshop which was held at MODSAP HQ in Westminster, London was very well attended from both sides; with more than 20 key Saudi Interlocutors joining their counterparts from UK DSE and UKEF, with both sides supported by a strong industry cadre of Saudi industry partners and the UK prime and SME community.
The impact of the workshop was measurable and clear actions were agreed that the ICC will drive forward to ensure key deliverables for the 3rd Industrial Cooperation Committee meeting to be held soon in Riyadh.
The gathering was honoured by the participation of H.E Eng. Gasem Al-Maimani, the Chair of the ICC and Deputy Governor for Military Industries of GAMI and Major General Eng. Attiyah Al-Malki, from KSA MOD – Executive Affairs, with colleagues from General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI), MOD, MNG and GADD, who boldly led the Saudi agenda, and Mark Goldsack, Director Defence and Security Exports at the Department for Business and Trade and Tim Reid, CEO, UK Export Finance who reinforced the message of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two nations.
On a personal note, we would like to offer special thanks to Adam Taylor, First Secretary Defence & Security at the British Embassy Riyadh for hosting the Workshop and leading the discussion across 3 days of inter-government and industry debate and his colleague, Caren Flavelle for her sterling work in coordinating what was a complicated engagement.
The Aardvark Group has supported the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for nearly four decades with the design and supply of Counter-Explosive Ordnance equipment, and we look forward to continuing to support the Kingdom to deliver the requirements of VISION 2030 by the transfer of knowledge and technology and localisation of advanced technologies in the fields of Counter Threat and Unmanned Ground Systems.