General Dynamics gets $12.6b Saudi arms order

OTTAWA (AFP) - The Canadian subsidiary of US arms maker General Dynamics has won a US$10 billion (S$12.6 billion) order for armored vehicles for Saudi Arabia, Canada's Trade Minister Ed Fast announced Friday.

The vehicles will be produced by General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada (GDLS) in London, Ontario, and the deal could be worth up to US$13 billion if all options are exercised, according to securities filings.

The agreement also includes associated equipment, training and support services, said a statement.

Mr Fast said the 14-year "landmark contract" will create and sustain more than 3,000 jobs in Canada, and give a boost to more than 500 companies across Canada that supply parts and materials to General Dynamics.

"This is an Olympic win for Canada and for Canadian manufacturers," commented Danny Deep, vice president of GDLS.

"It shows how great people in truly innovative companies like GDLS can compete internationally and bring home the gold." Canada's advanced manufacturing sector supports 1.7 million Canadians and posted combined revenues in 2012 of US$164.6 billion, according to the most recent government figures.

Canadian trade with Saudi Arabia is relatively modest at US$820 million last year, but Mr Fast has sought to change that by embarking on two trade missions to Riyadh in the past two years.