| Welcome to Global Village Space

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Saudi Arabia & China sign pact to build military drones

The agreement comes as Saudi Arabia aims to localize the field of military industries which is in line with its Vision 2030. Saudi Arabia will take advantage of the Chinese company’s vast experience spanning over 20 years in research and development.

Saudi Arabia and China recently signed an agreement to build military drones locally in the Kingdom. The agreement comes as Saudi Arabia aims to localize the field of military industries which is in line with its Vision 2030.

The Saudi Advanced Communications and Electronics Systems Company (ACES) signed the strategic agreement with China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC). The state-owned CETC is one of the world’s largest defense companies. Meanwhile, ACES is Saudi Arabia’s is an integrated company for information and communication technology systems in the Kingdom.

The agreement will facilitate the Chinese company to set up a research and development center and manufacturing team for various types of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) payload systems, including communications units, flight control units, camera systems, radar systems, and wireless detection systems.

Read more: How Saudi Arabia is modernizing itself?

Furthermore, Saudi Arabia will take advantage of the Chinese company’s vast experience spanning over 20 years in research and development, with its dozens of research institutes.

China and Saudi Arabia’s military ties

Important to note, China and Saudi Arabia enjoy over thirty years of diplomatic relations. The ties have further deepened over the years as China considers Saudi Arabia an important ally in the Middle East. China also claimed that it has always prioritized its relations with Saudi Arabia in its diplomacy in the Middle East.

Apart from cooperation in the energy and financial sectors, China and Saudi Arabia also enjoy defense cooperation. In fact, the two’s defense relations began before any diplomatic relations. According to reports, China sold $700 million in arms to Riyadh from 2008-2011. While the number is low, Saudi Arabia has always looked towards China to reduce its security dependence on the United States.

Read more: UAE and Saudi Arabia want to acquire nuclear weapons, and the US is livid

Moreover, Saudi Arabia used the Chinese-made PLZ-45 howitzers and CAIG Wing Loong drones to bomb Houthi rebels during the Military Intervention in Yemen.

Furthermore, the countries have agreed to enhance military relations. State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe on Jan 26 held talks via video link with Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman. Both sides agreed that the two militaries should improve practical cooperation and further enhance bilateral relations.

Read more: The Khashoggi crisis: (Re)Shaping US politics and relations with Saudi Arabia