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Saudi to Boost Defense Industry with US Company

DEFENSE AND TECHNOLOGY -- Northrop Grumman remains committed to the expansion of Saudi Arabia’s defense industrial base which will provide critical, long-term benefits for the Kingdom, the corporation’s chief executive for Saudi Arabia Walid Abukhaled said.

In an interview, he said “Northrop Grumman supports the governments’ priorities, from localization and economic diversification, to technology and knowledge transfer. This is done by building lasting, trusted partnerships that build on the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 and work collaboratively to find solutions to the Kingdom’s security challenges.”

He explained “as an example, we are working alongside different parties in the Kingdom, including the Saudi Ministry of the National Guard through our Saudi joint venture company, Vinnell Arabia, a leader in US military doctrine-based training, logistics and support services. Vinnell Arabia employs approximately 1,000 Saudi engineers and technicians, working to train and support the Saudi National Guard.”

He further said Saudi Arabia is one of the fastest growing markets for aerospace and defense, and for that matter, Northrop Grumman affirmed its commitment by expanding its presence, establishing its regional headquarters in Riyadh, growing its investment, and building new relationships. “Our commitment extends beyond business goals to include local communities, as we are dedicated to educational and humanitarian programs that encourage innovation, diversity, and community outreach,” he added.

Abukhaled moreover said Northrop Grumman’s partnership with Saudi Arabia began more than 40 years ago with the delivery of the first F-5 Tiger tactical fighter jet to the Royal Saudi Air Force, and continues today with the delivery of the advanced TPS-78 surveillance radars. In addition to providing a range of capabilities and technologies in defense, security, cyber security and communications, such as the Longbow Fire Control Radars for the AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter, Northrop Grumman is also heavily involved in the technical and administrative training and development of Saudi military personnel.

Excerpts of the interview follow:

• For the third year in a row, Northrop Grumman is participating in the C4I Symposium, this year as a strategic sponsor of the conference. What is the importance of this conference for you and what will you focus on this year?

The relationship of Saudi Arabia with the United States is a cornerstone of regional security, so the Kingdom is a top priority for Northrop Grumman. The conference will examine the role of command and control centers in combating terrorism and how to strengthen the integration of complex C4I systems. These are areas where Northrop Grumman has unique and proven capabilities. So we will focus on our integrated C4I, training, and sustainment and modernization capabilities at this year’s conference. We look forward to engaging our customers and identifying solutions that contribute to the Kingdom’s peace and security.

• How does Northrop Grumman stand out among its competitors, especially in the field of cyber?

Northrop Grumman has been battling cyber threats for more than 30 years, and has a deep understanding of the breadth and complexity of cyber. As a leader in full-spectrum cyber solutions, we build cyber into our systems, platforms and products to enhance mission assurance and resiliency. The fact is defense and cyber require the integrated capabilities of military personnel, civil authorities and intelligence agencies to combat highly dynamic and complex threats, and we work seamlessly across this spectrum.

It doesn’t stop with meeting today’s cyber challenges either as we’re investing in the cyber talent of the future. CyberArabia brings outstanding and talented students, men and women alike, from across the Kingdom, to a workshop and competition that builds cyber skills and generates interest in cyber careers. We see this as essential both for our business and for strengthening the Kingdom’s long-term security. We are proud that CyberArabia is part of Northrop Grumman’s global effort to strengthen science, technology, engineering and math education. — SG


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