Saudi Arabia inks arms deal with Spain to strengthen naval forces
Riyadh has increased its efforts in cooperation with nations across the globe as Saudi leaders look to move away from the kingdom's US dependency
By News Desk - December 01 2022

(Photo Credit: The National Interest)

According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), on 1 December, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority and defense ministry signed an agreement with Spanish-based company Navantia to construct numerous combat ships for the Saudi Naval Forces.

Saudi Defense Minister Khaled bin Salman signed the agreement with the Spanish Minister of Industry María Reyes Maroto to bolster Riyadh’s defense ministry. 

“This MoU represents the latest effort to fulfill the vision of HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister to localize our military industry and empower and strengthen the capabilities of the ministry of defense, which will help provide security for our country and region,” Salman said.

The military deal aims to support Riyadh’s Naval forces in boosting maritime security.

Navantia claims it will localize 100 percent of the ship construction, integrate combat systems, and cover maintenance.

The agreement also includes the implementation of updated combat systems and hardware for the combat ships.

In recent months, Riyadh has increased its efforts to expand its horizons in military and economic cooperation with several countries in the aftermath of the announcement of OPEC+ oil cuts in October.

On 17 November, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman met with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol to boost defense cooperation with Seoul, signing agreements estimated at $30 billion to establish a “strategic partnership.”

Yoon has expressed that South Korea is interested in incorporating national corporations into projects such as the $500 billion NEOM smart city project northwest of Saudi Arabia and boosting energy cooperation.

In September, Berlin ratified several arms deals with Saudi Arabia, which goes against its weapons sanctions against the kingdom over the brutal war in Yemen.

The German export licenses fall under a joint export program with Spain, Italy, and the UK and will allow Riyadh to buy equipment and ammunition for Eurofighter and Tornado warplanes amounting to around $35 million.

Despite Riyadh’s successful track record in boosting cooperation with several regional and western nations, the international community fails to acknowledge Saudi Arabia’s countless war crimes in Yemen. 

The Entesaf Organization for the Protection of Women and Children’s Rights recently reported that the Saudi-led coalition has been complicit in the murder of 8,000 children in Yemen since 2015.

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