Turkey’s “Yonja Onuk” dockyard conduct talks with Azerbaijan on sales of military boats

Turkey’s “Yonja Onuk” dockyard conduct talks with Azerbaijan on sales of military boats
# 15 March 2011 10:15 (UTC +04:00)
Vice-president of “Yonja Onuk” company functioning in Turkey’s military shipbuilding, Akbar Onuk’s interview to APA

-Mr. Akbar, “Yonja Onuk” company is an active participant of the military exhibitions held in the region. Last time, during the largest military exhibition of the Middle East – IDEX, you held meetings with representatives of some countries, including representatives from Azerbaijan. How do you assess the attention of the region to military sphere?

-I can say that, including IDEX, we take part in military exhibitions held in the Middle East for nearly 10 years. We see that Abu Dhabi, as an important military power in the region, pays special attention to this exhibition. Compared to the previous exhibitions, less international clients attended this year’s exhibition in connection with the political crisis in the region. That is, this year, most of the countries were engaged in own problems and could not attend the exhibition. But this demand may be considered satisfactory.

-Boats of “Yonja Onuk” have already become a famous brand in the region. In general, how many boats have been made so far?

-“Yonja Onuk” sold 85 boats to its clients so far. Our boats are used in Malaysia. We have already started production there. We sold 4 boats to Pakistan. Two of them were given to special forces, other two to Naval. Today we inspected regional market. Our company in Malaysia is partner with the state and is planning to produce different models of MRTPs including its 45-m types for Asia-Pacific Ocean. So, I think that we will able to give skillful platforms to coastal security and naval forces.

-What features have “Yonja Onuk” boats?

-If there were auto racing, then we will take the first 3 places. But our sphere is different. Only the first can survive in the war. If client targets to achieve quality excellence, then he/she decides to select our boats. We are the dockyard with the best performance, the best durability and the best seafaring. That is why, our products are more expensive than others.

-What can you say about the new models? Were you working on MRTP-55 model?

-MRTP-55 was the project that we targeted. But later it was removed from the program of production. Instead of it we started producing MRTP-42 class boats. The first boat of this class will be ready for operation late in 2013. The length of MRTP-42 class boars is 45 m. 76mm or 57 mm guns will included into armament. 76 mm gun is produced by world-famous Oto Melara (Italy) company, 57 mm gun by Da Bofors (Sweden). After serious assessments, the latter was regarded by the US Coast Guard as better than 76 mm gun. MRTP-42 will be able to carry Harpoon or other guided missiles. The battle management system of ASELSAN will be installed on the boat.

-MRTP-33 boats bought by Georgian Coast Guard in 2008 participated in the military operations. Work continues on the new version of MRTP-33. What can you say about it?

-The boat that we sold to Georgia proved itself in 2008 war and could protect itself. It had several damages, we repaired it. MRTP-33 can fulfill the functions of coast guard, attack and rescue. We extended MRTP-33 for a meter. . These boats will be able to carry 40 mm Mark4 guns of DA Bofors and guided missiles. The boat is provided by the new generation MTU4 engines.

-What are your plans concerning Azerbaijan? As far as we know you held meeting on purchase and sale of boats with Azerbaijan.

-We want to sell best products to Azerbaijan. It is important to protect Azerbaijan’s hydrocarbon resources in the Caspian Sea from terror attacks. We also know that the Caspian Sea is not so calm. We are holding discussions with Azerbaijan on purchase and sale of boats. If we can deliver our boats to Azerbaijan, it will be honorable for us.

-Can a shipyard be constructed in the Caspian region, where there are some restrictions to the entry of warships, especially in Azerbaijan?

-It is connected with the quantity of production. We know that Baku is buying our boats for peaceful purposes such as security and rescue operations. I see no difference between Turkish Naval Forces, Turkish Coast Guard and Azerbaijani Border Troops. We intend to deliver certain number of boats. After that we can think about production in accordance with the needs.

-Did you hold meetings with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan?

-Yes, we did. But it seems natural for us to launch cooperation in the region with Azerbaijan. These states are also interested in our products.

-Can the composite boats be resistant here, taking into account the specific features of the Caspian Sea?

-Our equipments are corrosion resistant. Its effective life is more than 40 years, it can be considered fully favorable for the Caspian Sea. The Caspian Sea does not need big ships. On the other hand, our ships are wave resistant. These boats can move 50-60 miles per hour without any problems in the 3-magnitude wave. Over 80 boats are used in various regions of the world, none of them has faced any problems up to now.