By Aliia Raimbekova
The Kazakh subsidiary of Turkish defense giant Aselsan said on Thursday that they will soon be exporting their products to Uzbekistan for the first time.
Tarik Ziya Kaboglu, the CEO of Kazakhstan Aselsan Engineering (KAE), told Anadolu Agency that they expect their exports to rise after the Uzbek army sees the quality of their products.
Kaboglu said that Turkey and Kazakhstan co-founded the company in 2011 and that it began operations in late 2013 with a $44 million investment.
In the last four years, investments in the KAE factory in the capital Astana rose to $50 million.
"As part of the road map we laid out, the manufacturing of electro-optical products and modernization of military platforms have been planned. These include T72 tanks, M17 helicopter modernization, shooting platforms for Igla low-altitude missiles, reconnaissance and surveillance, artillery fire, and stabilized weapon systems," Kaboglu said.
"There are also plans to make radios. The road map we prepared was confirmed by Kazakhstan’s Defense Ministry," he stated.
He added that the 12.7 mm SARP stabilized weapon system was integrated into the Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering company armored vehicle Arlan, and vehicles equipped with this weapon were delivered to Kazakhstan last year.
"Thirty-six vehicles were tested in the field by the Kazakh army and added to their inventory", added Kaboglu.
$1B in sales by 2023
He also said that Kazakhstan's Defense and Aerospace Ministry supports them exporting Kazakh products as part of the country's strategic 2020 goals.
This year they exhibited their products at a defense industry fair in Uzbekistan, and the Uzbek army tested them, he added.
"Then we got orders from Uzbekistan. This is the first time that we’ll be exporting our products to one of the Turkic Republics, Uzbekistan, except for Turkey. We think our exports will rise after the Uzbek army tests our products," Kaboglu said.
Kaboglu stated that under their 10-year-plan, they aim to make sales totaling $1 billion by 2023.
"From 2014 to 2017 we made almost $6 million in sales to Turkey and $100 million to Kazakhstan. Our aim is to do $96 million in exports to Turkey in six years and $200 million in sales to Kazakhstan," he said.
He added that KAE is producing night-vision devices, thermal target sight systems, and stabilized weapon systems and radios.