The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) today announced that Trident Systems Incorporated has signed a new contract valued at $3.2 million with Saudi Arabia for unattended ground sensors. Trident Systems is a participant in Virginia’s Going Global Defense Initiative (GGDI), the Commonwealth’s only program that secures new revenue streams for Virginia’s defense companies in face of declining U.S. Department of Defense spending, which in turn preserves jobs and replaces declining state tax revenues for Virginia.
Trident Systems is a veteran-owned business that delivers technology solutions for mission critical government and commercial needs. In 2010, a Saudi Arabian company approached Trident Systems about selling its unattended ground sensors to one of their clients who needed an ad hoc, wireless, and portable way to protect large-area perimeters against intrusions. After vetting the Saudi Arabian company, Trident Systems partnered with them to pursue the unattended ground systems opportunity. The company made several trips to Riyadh for technical meetings and spent time in the country learning the local ways and developing relationships with key players and decision makers.
Once the Saudi Arabian client decided it wanted to purchase Trident System’s unattended ground sensors, it took another 11 months to settle on the combination of purchased equipment and to negotiate the contract. In 2012 Trident Systems was officially awarded its first $1.5 million contract. Trident Systems’ investment in Saudi Arabia has led to increasingly larger contracts. After the initial deal, the company was awarded an additional contract for $2.6 million one year later, and, as the third and largest contract, $3.2 million in 2015.
“VEDP funded a comprehensive review of our compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that strengthened our internal compliance processes and gave us the confidence to continue pursuing Saudi Arabian and other Middle East opportunities,” said Nick Karangelen, President, Trident Systems. “Saudi Arabia wants cutting-edge technology that also has a track record of success in the West. This presents a real opportunity for U.S. companies, provided they are ready and able to invest the considerable time and effort required to learn the cultural and business environments, build strong relationships, and show that their product is better than the competition’s.”
The Middle East is the largest international market for Virginia’s defense sector. Now in its third year, the DOD has granted $1.8 million for GGDI to assist Virginia’s defense-related companies that have been adversely affected by defense budget reductions. Virginia’s support of GGDI is made possible by Governor McAuliffe’s recent funding of the Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL), announced in July 2015. VITAL’s goals are to increase Virginia’s exports by $1.6 billion and to create 14,000 trade-supported jobs over the next five years.
“The defense and security industry is one of the largest industries in Virginia, and helping companies like Trident find more customers outside the U.S. is critical for their growth and job expansion,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “The GGDI program helps these companies, who are serving primarily the federal government, diversify their customer base to grow a really important business sector. I am thrilled this veteran-owned company will benefit from VEDP’s initiative, and we look forward to continuing this effective partnership with our federal resources to provide assistance to even more of Virginia’s defense and security businesses.”
Trident Systems was founded in 1985. Thirty years later, Trident continues to harness emerging technology to provide leading-edge solutions to both the military and intelligence communities, as well as a broad spectrum of commercial and international customers.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, a marketing organization, was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995 to encourage, stimulate, and support the development and expansion of the economy of the Commonwealth. To accomplish its objectives of promoting economic expansion within the Commonwealth, the Partnership focuses its efforts on business recruitment, expansion and international trade. VEDP offers numerous programs to assist Virginia companies with selling into the global marketplace.