Vision 2030 in action

Attracting skilled talent for defense work in Saudi Arabia

Vision 2030 in Action

Raytheon Saudi Arabia is creating highly skilled jobs for Saudis in defense, aerospace and cybersecurity.

At a time when analysts are predicting a talent crunch in the international defense industry, Raytheon Saudi Arabia is bridging that forecasted gap.

Raytheon Saudi Arabia is creating highly skilled jobs for Saudis in defense, aerospace and cybersecurity through partnerships with Saudi private-sector companies and local universities.

This move directly supports Vision 2030 goals for self-sufficiency, growth by supporting in-country suppliers, and creating local employment to increase the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s economic development.

Two recent reports call for a significant investment in Saudi Arabia's defense sector and attention to hiring local talent.

The U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council published an internal 2019 report titled “Saudi Macroeconomic Overview and Opportunities in the Saudi Defense Sector.” It advocates for significant investment in the region, including in security and defense jobs, which will create new employment.

“There is a strong outlook for the security and defense sector as Saudi Arabia continues investment, signs contracts with international firms, and increases the design, assembly, manufacturing and maintenance of military equipment,” the report states.

A critical talent challenge is addressed in a report called “War Games Gone Local,” put out by Korn Ferry, a global organizational consulting firm.

“For example, as part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan—an ambitious initiative to develop the Kingdom’s economy and global standing—the country is aiming for local talent to account for 50 percent of its aerospace and defense workforce by that time,” according to Korn Ferry.

The challenge is this: “Countries are increasingly making local job creation and training a key part of aerospace and defense sales, but many companies are struggling to deliver these results,” according to the 2018 study.


Raytheon is working to fill jobs in the Kingdom. For example, Raytheon Saudi Arabia held the First ‘Localization Summit’ in Riyadh. The event explored potential opportunities to support the local defense industry.

“Hosting this localization summit was a pivotal step for growing our relationship with leaders and suppliers in the region,” said Dave Hanley, chief executive of Raytheon Saudi Arabia.

More than 20 Saudi public and private-sector companies attended the one-day summit, helping Raytheon leaders expand relationships with key suppliers. Through these and other efforts, the company is meeting its commitments in the Kingdom and helping to realize Vision 2030 workforce development goals.

“We are working with Saudi industry and providing products and services that will ensure the success and security of our shared interests,” Hanley said.


Raytheon Saudi Arabia’s localization efforts include hiring local Saudi nationals in key management roles, as well as in engineering and technical positions. The company is qualifying local suppliers to become sources of supply within its worldwide supplier base, extending its more than 50 years of uninterrupted support to Saudi Arabia.

Raytheon Saudi Arabia was established in Riyadh to accelerate in-country program management, supply and sourcing capabilities, improvements in customer access and centralized accountability. Incorporated in 2017, Raytheon Saudi Arabia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Company.

Hanley leads a team built to help meet Vision 2030 defense goals. He drives business strategy and execution of defense-related projects, and development of technology and cybersecurity capabilities for the Kingdom. 

Vision 2030 is a sweeping program of socioeconomic and cultural reforms launched in early 2016 by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The 2030 goals include:

  • Increase women’s participation in the workforce from 22 percent to 30 percent
  • Localize more than 50 percent of military equipment spending by 2030
  • Rise from current position of 25 to the top 10 countries on the Global Competitiveness Index
Published On: 09/26/2019
Last Updated: 03/23/2020