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New premises inaugurated for Saudi naval maintenance contracts
by Richard Tomkins
Toulon, France (UPI) Jul 8, 2013

Thales inaugurates new offices in Saudi Arabia
Paris (UPI) Jul 8, 2013 - The Thales group of France has inaugurated new offices in Saudi Arabia to consolidate and increase its local operational capabilities.

The offices are located in Jeddah and are specifically designed to accommodate men and women from the local subsidiary in charge of civil activities for Thales, the company said.

Thales has a variety of projects in the country, mainly in the security and ground transportation sectors.

Thales said its services are central to protecting religious sites, providing traffic flow management systems for the Hajj, or annual pilgrimage to Mecca of Muslims from around the world, and for providing and supporting security solutions for major mosques.

It also provides security solutions for the country's oil and gas fields.

In the transportation section, it is providing signaling, security, communications and fare management systems for the North-South Railway.

"We have been working successfully in the country for four decades and we look forward to strengthening our ties with local industries and government agencies," said Jean-Yves Tolot, Thales' managing director in Saudi Arabia

DCNS, the French shipbuilding and naval defense company, has inaugurated a facility in the country dedicated to meeting the military needs of Saudi Arabia.

Modernization and maintenance programs at the facility in Toulon will correspond to different service contracts DCNS now has with Saudi Arabia, including LEX, or life extension, which was initiated last year.

"The Saudi Arabia platform reflects the effective launch of this program by our teams," said Nathalie Smirnov, director of the DCNS Services division. "The execution of the first technical shutdown to start on the frigate Abha in Jeddah will represent a further step in addressing the challenges of this major contract."

The major naval shutdown Smirnov refers to vessel maintenance periods which can stretch over weeks or months depending on work to be done.

DCNS said its services -- design, preparation, purchasing, provisioning of replacement parts and equipment -- will be delivered partly in France. On-site work on Saudi Arabian vessels will be performed in the country by its subsidiary, Support KSA.

Contracts currently held by DCNS from Saudi Arabia are for the maintenance of four Madina-class frigates, two Boraida-class replenishment oilers, and maintenance of three Al Riyadh-class frigates.


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