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Turkish Otokar To Launch Production in Kazakhstan

Oct. 18, 2012 - 09:55AM   |  
By BURAK EGE BEKDIL AND UMIT ENGINSOY   |   Comments
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ANKARA — Turkey’s leading armored vehicles manufacturer, Otokar, will launch a production line in Kazakhstan, the company said in a statement.

A memorandum of understanding for the venture was signed Oct. 12 in Istanbul during the Turkish-Kazakh Investment and Commerce Forum, the statement said. The deal was witnessed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

This is a follow-up deal to a contract Otokar won in May to sell scores of vehicles to the Kazakh Army. Under the deal, Otokar will launch a joint venture with Kazakhstan Engineering to produce Otokar’s four-wheel-drive Cobra armored vehicles.

Otokar, based in Istanbul, is a privately owned Turkish company listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange and has sold more than 25,000 armored vehicles to nearly 30 countries. This is the first time a Turkish defense company will produce abroad.

Kazakhstan Engineering has been tasked with building the production facility for the Cobra vehicles while Otokar will transfer production know-how, deliver all parts and components for production, train Kazakh army officers, and supervise the production process.

The Cobra is a wheeled armored vehicle developed by Otokar using some components from the American Humvee. The Cobra forms a common platform that can be adapted for various roles and missions, including armored personnel carrier, anti-tank vehicle, reconnaissance vehicle, ground surveillance radar vehicle, forward observation vehicle, armored ambulance and armored command post. It can be equipped with a turreted vehicle for 12.7mm machine gun, a 20mm cannon, anti-tank missiles such as the TOW missile and Spike missile, or surface-to-air missiles. It can be used as an amphibious vehicle in combat.

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