Is Saudi Arabia capable of manufacturing its own weapons?

Recently the fourth session of The Armed Forces Exhibition (AFED) took place in Riyadh. Interesting isn’t it? One of the major events took place in our country and most of us were unaware of it. The basic reason was its low hype and absence of media coverage.

However, the event was a fabulous one. It revolved around this interesting theme that our Industry is our strength. This is a major economic theme that most countries opt to for becoming economically stable.

The series of 4 events were held to praise our domestic producers and encourage others to set such industries in Saudi Arabia.  The prestigious event experienced the presence of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC), notable ministries and representatives of certain countries.

Some global companies, who have contracts with Ministry of defense, honored the event with their participation. The event might have ended but has thrown light on major aspects that we need to understand.

Now, one shall make it clear that the people of any country can only get satisfied by the ruler’s claim of protection when they know that the army of the country is equipped with great gadgets and modern weapons.

If the army is having old, outdated and insufficient weapons, people will feel insecure and the ruling government won’t ever be able to satisfy them that they are protected. This is the very reason that some states who cannot produce their own weapons allocate sufficient budget towards arms purchase.

Likewise, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is currently importing weapons, thereby a significant chunk of the budget is dedicated to the purchase of arms.

Saudi Arabia cannot afford to be unarmed as it is one of the vital states around the world. Also, the state demands high security and defense due to its geographical location. The series of such events just made us question ourselves that is Saudi Arabia keenly looking forward to producing its weapons by itself?

Will we be able to initialize quality arms industry? Is it finally the time when we will be self-sufficient in arms production? Would our economic struggle of the balance of payment end after our imported weapons fall?

Well, this is not something very easy we are looking forward to. This world is a complex one: these things might look easy but aren’t. It may sound very easy to set up arms industry in the country, yet it isn’t as the world’s weapons industry has been monopolized by the global powers.

These global powers have taken control of the very industries to emerge powerfully. The countries who are able to get self-sufficient in their arms production tend to become powerful.

Look at China, it is a major super-power because it has been able to get itself equipped with modern defensive techniques and utilize its resources efficiently.

Yet, there is nothing called “impossible”. It might be difficult for us to fulfill our demands of defense by ourselves, yet it is not impossible. These small steps of encouraging our local producers is a great step. We need to encourage such steps and wisely take steps ahead.

Source: Saudi Gazette