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Persian Gulf states are enhancing the local development and manufacturing of unmanned systems. The UAE-based Marakeb Technologies and Saudi-based Prince Sultan Defense Studies & Research Center (PSDSARC), have signed a collaboration agreement for the development of unmanned vehicles in the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) region, to serve Saudi armed and security forces.

PSDSARC’s advanced research and development of operationally enhancing products in radar technology, electronic warfare, electro-optics, communications and other related technologies complements their aim to develop unparalleled unmanned platforms in the Saudi Kingdom.

Specializing in autonomous systems, Marakeb Technologies provides unmanned capabilities to aerial, ground, and marine platforms through the integration of its patented modular MAP Pro technology. 

The technology transforms an ordinary boat into a fully functioning, remotely operated, unmanned surface vessel (USV). With its in-built navigational aids, the MAP Pro provides autonomous navigation over predetermined routes through a system of waypoints, even in GPS-denied environments.

According to arabianaerospace.aero, the integration of the MAP Pro into the current aerial and marine platforms developed by PSDSARC enables both entities to deliver a unique fleet of UAVs and USVs to the market in the interim and to build a localized defense industry in the Kingdom through the joint-development of new unmanned platforms in the future.

Saudi preparations for the development and manufacturing of unmanned aircraft systems were unveiled with the recent publication of a land-lease for such project.

Director General at Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON) Khalid bin Mohammed al-Salem said they have signed in Riyadh a land-lease contract with INTRA Defense Systems to set up a project to develop and manufacture unmanned aircraft systems.”

Several parties in the Kingdom are uniting efforts to achieve industrial development including, inter alia, MODON, that aims to reinforce public-private partnership to direct military investments to its industrial cities, as reported by aawsat.com.

Saudi Arabia’s armed UAV inventory includes the CH-4B Rainbow and the Wing Loong II, both manufactured by Chinese companies.