Free the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem’s Old City image, public domain building CC0 photo.

SAMI debuts at Istanbul arms expo The Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) is participating for the first time in an international defense exhibition in Istanbul, signaling a closer relationship between Turkey and the Gulf countries in the defense sector. The move follows a diplomatic visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the region. SAMI occupies a large part of the Saudi pavilion, along with other entities from the kingdom such as the General Authority of Military Industries (GAMI), Intra technologies, and the upcoming World Defense Show. Moreover, UAE firms, which are regular exhibitors at this event, displayed new capabilities that they usually reserve for their own defense shows. This suggests that Abu Dhabi sees Ankara as a potential market.

Erdogan paved the way Theodore Karasik, a senior adviser at the U.S.-based geopolitical consultancy Gulf State Analytics, said that President Erdogan’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia and the UAE has paved the way for future cooperation between these countries and Turkey. He emphasized the role of SAMI, GAMI, and UAE defense entities in these efforts, which are being strategically tailored for specific needs. Turkey will also take part in the Saudi-based World Defense show for the first time, with 29 exhibiting firms, as announced by Mansour Al-Babtain, WDS chief KSA liaison officer. At the Istanbul defense expo, SAMI revealed the first Saudi-made Hazem combat management system, integrated into the Saudi Avante 2200-class corvettes.

Calidus missile launcher On the other hand, the UAE firm Calidus, in partnership with the country’s Tawazun Council, showcased a mobile missile launcher. The vehicle, named Alheda, equipped with the launcher, is a lightweight wheeled device capable of firing four Alheda missiles and eight LOGIR missiles. It has a remote firing mode and is expected to enter the testing phase in three months. Karasik noted that the UAE’s Calidus unveiling an armored vehicle with ground-to-ground and ground-to-air missiles shows how the relationship between Turkey and the UAE is evolving. He also commented on the Saudi entities’ exploration into drones and cryptography, indicating unique growth and regional security enhancements.