Alsalam Aircraft of Saudi Arabia plans major expansions to its facilities to cope with approaching upgrade programmes for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF).
Speaking at the show yesterday, Alsalam vice-chairman Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah Al-Saud and Mohammed Noor Fallatah, president and chief executive, described the company’s ambitions to provide upgrades for the RSAF’s Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules and Panavia Tornado fleets.
Alsalam is linking with Boeing to provide improvements for the RSAF C-130 fleet, which at 50-plus examples is the world’s second-largest.
“The RSAF have decided to upgrade the avionics, but not exactly what they want,” says Prince Faisal.
When the programme goes ahead, says Fallatah, “we’re looking at having a hangar totally devoted to C-130 work.”
Boeing has previously worked on the C-130 AMP upgrade programme and will supply the technology with which Alsalam will undertake the project.
A similar situation exists with the Kingdom’s large fleet of Tornados; three examples are currently at BAE Systems’ plant at Warton, northwest England, for the prototype phase of what BAE calls the Tornado Sustainment Programme (TSP).
Alsalam expects to play a role in the TSP, says Prince Faisal: “Once these three prototypes are finished, we expect an upgrade programme, but that’s up to the air force. We have plans to build a hangar dedicated to the Tornado fleet to support this effort.”
With potentially major programmes like these waiting in the wings, Alsalam is looking at the establishment of its own training academy. “That will be an internationally-certificated facility that will produce highly-skilled technicians,” says Fallatah.
Alsalam’s current $250 million annual turnover is split 70-30 in favour of military work but the company wants to move to a 50-50 split over the next five years, while continuing to grow the business. “So the commercial side has a challenge in front of it to grow faster,” comments Prince Faisal.


Source: Flight Daily News