(MENAFN - Arab News) Prince Khaled bin Sultan, deputy defense minister, has emphasized the importance of making military equipment spare parts locally, adding that it was encouraged by the late Prince Sultan, former defense minister.
Speaking to reporters after visiting the air force command in Riyadh, he said about 120 factories in the Kingdom are now producing 156 spare parts.
"If we bring all the spare parts of military equipment from abroad we have to spend a lot of money on that," the deputy minister said, and disclosed plans to set up more than 1,000 military industries. He commended the cooperation of the private sector in setting up military industries, saying private firms have invested nearly SR500 million in the sector. The Ministry of Defense has signed contracts with more than 100 Saudi companies for the purpose.
Prince Sultan's statement comes after Defense Minister Prince Salman chaired a meeting of the board of directors of the General Organization for Military Industries here yesterday.
Prince Salman thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Crown Prince Naif for their support to the organization.
The meeting was attended by Prince Khaled, Minister of Finance Ibrahim Al-Assaf, Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel, Chief of Staff Gen. Hussein Al-Qubail, Director General of General Organization for Military Industries Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Al-Hudaithi, Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al-Saeed, Khaled Al-Abdulkarim and Abdullah Bin Mahfouz.
Prince Salman later arrived in the northeastern border city of Hafr Al-Baten on an inspection tour of military personnel in the region. He was received on arrival by Eastern Province Deputy Gov. Prince Jelawi bin Abdul Aziz and senior officials.