Are we capable of manufacturing our own weapons?



The Armed Forces Exhibition (AFED) was held last month in Riyadh to support the local manufacturing of weapons under the theme “Our Industry is Our Strength,” a reflection of the support for domestic manufacturers and the desire to relocate complementary industries in the Kingdom.

The Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC), numerous ministries and other states also participated in the exhibition. There was also the notable presence of global companies who are contractually linked to the Ministry of Defense.

Many people are unaware that this event took place and that this was its fourth session. One can speculate that the reason may be the lack of media coverage despite the importance of the exhibition or because it was not the sort of event that people would expect the Kingdom to have.

The exhibition highlighted something important: A state that wants to guarantee the protection of its population has to have armed forces that are equipped with modern weaponry. When a state is as important as the Kingdom with an international economic and political standing, and is located in a troubled ocean surrounded by never-ending infernal schemes, the need for a highly efficient military force is even greater.

The Kingdom depends on importing weapons and paying enormous sums of money for weapons deals from the national budget. So is it possible to look ahead to a future where the Kingdom is able to itself fulfill the basic needs of its weapons requirements? This might sound like fantasy because it is a well-known fact that the weapons industry is monopolized by major global powers that use their weapons manufacturing capabilities and expertise to further their own economic goals.

Major global powers would not care about developing their respective weapons industries if it were not so vital for both security and growth. China, for example, has power due to its advanced defense capabilities and sizable economic resources.

Despite all of the options when it comes to buying weapons, there are some countries that have developed their own strategies for developing their military industries in a way that is suitable to their local climate and goals. These countries undoubtedly faced hardships when they decided to go it alone, but with patience and time they were able to restructure their military industries. So if we are willing to face the challenges with determination, patience and hard work, it is possible for us to dream of a day when we can depend on ourselves in this field?