Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson said she was looking forward to contributing to the achievement of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, noting that the corporation for military, security and technology industries has entered into a joint venture to assemble 150 Black Hawk helicopters in the Kingdom.
The relationship between Lockheed Martin and the Middle East started with the delivery of the first C-130 aircraft to Saudi Arabia in 1965, according to Hewson, who is one of the 20 most influential women around the world, according to Forbes magazine.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat ahead of the launch of the Dubai Airshow, Lockheed Martin’s CEO said that pacific nations were facing a wide range of threats, from unregulated entities and countries seeking regional expansion and dominance, which led the company to contribute to the safety and security of its citizens through its various partnerships.
“The geopolitical environment has become more volatile and ambiguous than ever, where peaceful nations face a wide range of threats, from unorganized entities to countries seeking regional expansion and dominance. We, at Lockheed Martin, commit ourselves to helping governments achieve their key priorities of safety and security for their citizens. We are proud to do so through close cooperation and innovation with our partners around the world,” she said.
Asked about military agreements with Saudi Arabia, Hewson said: “We are pleased to be a bridge between the United States and its allies in the region. Over the past decades, this has been in many areas ranging from national security issues to building technological and manufacturing capabilities of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other key partners. We are proud that the relationship between Lockheed Martin and the Middle East began with the delivery of the first C-130 aircraft to Saudi Arabia in 1965, and our partnership has since continued to grow and develop.”
Hewson also noted that her company supported a number of initiatives to promote education, economic opportunities and technological innovation.
“This year I joined the Board of Trustees of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia and we will meet with its leadership and students later this week,” she stated.
On Lockheed Martin’s contribution to Vision 2030, Hewson said she was looking forward to contributing to the Kingdom’s Vision in many ways.
“We have entered into a joint venture - now referred to as Rotary Aircraft Manufacturing Saudi Arabia (RMSA) - with a Saudi Arabian aerospace technology company to assemble 150 Black Hawk helicopters,” she said, noting that this partnership would promote the sharing of expertise between Lockheed Martin and the Kingdom.
“We are delighted to be able to provide our global expertise to help support Saudi Arabia’s ability to build Black Hawk aircraft in the Kingdom. This project will support more than 400 jobs in Saudi Arabia and more than million hours of training, in addition to promoting growth and economic opportunities,” she stated.