Defense Industry Minister Yaver Jamalov: “U.S companies ordered ammunitions to Azerbaijan” – INTERVIEW

Defense Industry Minister Yaver Jamalov: “U.S companies ordered ammunitions to Azerbaijan” – <font color=red> INTERVIEW </font>
# 14 May 2010 09:28 (UTC +04:00)
Amman. Rashad Suleymanov – APA. Minister of Defense Industry of Azerbaijan Yaver Jamalov gives an interview to APA

- How do you evaluate SOFEX 2010 and participation of the Azerbaijan’s defense industry at the exhibition?

- SOFEX was very successful for us. More than 350 companies from 34 countries participated at the conference. We exhibited 55 types of defense industry goods, which interested both participants and visitors. A number of protocols of intentions were signed during the exhibition. Three of them were signed with the U.S companies, which ordered 82-mm mortar launchers, PKM machineguns, 7.62x54 mm cartridges, as well as 2.5 million of 7.62x39 mm cartridges and ammunitions for 82 mm mortar launchers and 4000 VOG-25. Representatives of those companies will visit Azerbaijan soon to test the ammunitions and then we are expected to sign relevant agreements.

Another U.S company needs in 500 000 12.7x108 mm, 250 000 14.5x110 mm cartridges and VOG-25. They will send their representatives to Azerbaijan to see production and we are looking forward for intensive cooperation with those companies. The third U.S company, we signed a protocol of intentions, is planning to purchase 60 millions 9x19 mm cartridges during 5 years. We have already installed a runner line and we are producing cartridges in accordance with NATO standards. Turkey’s Machine and Chemistry Industry Company (MKE) ordered 10 000 RPQ-7V grenade launchers, 120 mm mortar launcher ammunitions, 7.62x39 mm cartridges, 40 millions capsules. We have signed a protocol of intensions with MKE and it will send its representatives to Azerbaijan in near future. Our experts will also visit the MKE enterprises. We are looking forward to sign an agreement with MKE about the joint production of several types of small arms.

- MKE manager said they were interested in joint production of 14.5 and 12.7 mm sniper rifles projected by the Azerbaijani engineers. What do you think about that?

- MKE has great interest to both rifles. They want to be involved in production of 12.7 mm rifles. We are reviewing this issue.

- What can you say about the agreement signed with NP Aerospace Jordan of the King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau (KADDB)?

- Jordan and Azerbaijan have high-level relations. Both countries are working together in many fields. The trade turnover between the countries increased 38.5% in the past three months in comparison with the same period of last year. We have signed an agreement on production of armored jackets and helmets. We are negotiating several projects more.

- Do the defense industry goods of Azerbaijan reach U.S market?

- Azerbaijan’s defense goods have not reached the U.S market so far. Those companies purchase these ammunitions to use it in Iraq because purchase and shipping of those ammunitions in Azerbaijan is more useful.

- What’s new about the purchase and sale of 300 millions cartridges between Azerbaijan and Turkey?

- We signed an agreement with Turkey and now we are expecting for starting of funding the project. The opposite side should pay 30% in the beginning.

- How do you evaluate the capability of the defense industry of Azerbaijan today? What is share of the defense industry in the total industrial production over the past four years?

- President Ilham Aliyev gives great attention to the development of defense industry. The head of state participates at the inauguration of all defense industry enterprises and takes interest in the quality and assortment of all products. The head of state urged us to bring new technologies to Azerbaijan and to make production in accordance with the modern international standards. Such products are being produced. As regards the production volume, I can say that compared with 2009 the production will be 2.7 times more.

-When is Azerbaijan’s defense industry going to fully meet the needs of the country’s Armed Forces, minimize the military technical dependence?

-In a short time we will implement all the projects that are economically effective. But there are projects the implementation of which is difficult and not necessary in Azerbaijan. For example, the production of tank. Construction of the plant producing tanks and creation of such equipment require great funds. Azerbaijan’s requirement is too little. It is expedient to buy the tanks, planes and helicopters from the developed countries. Such projects can be considered after the projects related to the necessary weapons, munitions, artillery weapons, pilotless aircrafts are fully implemented. Despite this, the facilities of the Ministry of Defense Industry are producing spare parts for tanks, helicopters and planes. The spare parts produced for planes and helicopters are even sold to the companies of Russia.

-The competition of armament has been recently observed in the Caspian region. There are reports that some littoral states have ordered a lot of warships, sea transport means. Does the Ministry of Defense Industry have projects concerning the production of sea navigation devices, ships, unmanned ships etc.

-The Ministry of Defense Industry is implementing projects in Azerbaijan basing on the orders of Defense Ministry, State Border Service, Interior Troops. If there are orders from these bodies, of course, we are ready to implement such projects by involving the famous companies of the world. We have not received such orders yet.

-Are there new projects in the defense industry of Azerbaijan and Turkey? Yesterday Turkish Defense Minister told APA that Azerbaijan can participate in the projects related to ATAK helicopter, Altay national tank, if it wishes.

-There are such projects. I have said that we plan to establish a facility for producing three small arms including 12.7mm sniper rifle with MKE. Yesterday we discussed with Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul the prospects of the cooperation. We will also participate in a number of projects of Turkey in future.

-Foreign servicemen were interested more in 14,5mm Istiglal sniper rifle exhibited in Azerbaijan’s stand. We would like you to give information about this sniper rifle. When do you plan to start series production of the new model of Istiglal?

-Istiglal is a half-automatic sniper rifle. It is distinguished from most of the sniper rifles with this feature. The charger takes five cartridges, cartridges automatically pass into the barrel. The effective range of the rifle is 2200m. There is no other sniper rifle with such an effective range. 12.7mm caliber version of Istiglal has been produced, it is being tested. Work continues on the creation of 23mm caliber sniper rifle.

-What can you say about Azerbaijani-produced automatic rifle? When do you plan to start series production of the rifle that “looks like and does not look like” Kalashnikov?

-This weapon has been created on the basis of AK-74M rifle. But it differs from Kalashnikov by a number of features. For example, additional details must be put into AK in order to set the night vision device, target and lighting system. This has been taken into consideration in our rifles. The butt of the rifle has also been changed. Talks are being held with Russia to start series production of the weapon. Turkey’s MKE company says that there is a great need for these rifles abroad. We plan to export this weapon after meeting the internal needs.

-According to the contract signed in the Collective Security Treaty Organization, if the war starts again, the member states can sell munitions and military equipment to Armenia on preferential terms. Will Azerbaijan’s military industrial complex be able to meet the needs of the Armed Forces in case of war?

-Ministry of Defense Industry is capable of providing the Defense Ministry and other military structures with the munitions and weapons. If military operations start, there will be no problem in the issues of provision.