ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish military electronics specialist Aselsan, has signed a partnership agreement with a Saudi enterprise to cooperate on a joint venture.
State-controlled Aselsan, the country's biggest defense firm, signed the deal with TAQNIA Defense and Security Technologies of Saudi Arabia (DST) with the aim of founding a joint venture company that would work in military electronics.
Aselsan officials said the new venture will build a factory in Saudi Arabia on the idea to create “a most advanced technological base.”
Officials said that the main areas of technological cooperation will focus on radars, electronic warfare suites and electro-optical technology.
“The joint venture will design, develop and manufacture hardware and software with a view to selling them to the Saudi and Gulf markets,” one Aselsan official said.
Aselsan and DST each will hold a 50 percent stake in the joint venture.
Turkey’s chief procurement official, Ismail Demir, said: “This agreement will significantly contribute to the two countries’ partnership in defense, economic cooperation and investment.”
In September 2013, Turkey and Saudi Arabia ratified a defense industry cooperation agreement.
The agreement aims to increase cooperation in the defense industry by improving the industry capabilities of both countries through more effective collaboration on the development, production and procurement of goods and services in the defense industry and the related technical and logistical support fields.
The agreement is for five years and can be extended automatically for successive one-year periods.
In 2012, the Turkish parliament also approved a deal with Saudi Arabia regarding cooperation in training military personnel.
Industry experts in Ankara said defense industry deals between Turkey and Saudi Arabia could facilitate Turkey’s future exports of naval vessels, assault boats, armored vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles to Saudi Arabia. The Arab kingdom also has shown an interest in the Altay, Turkey’s first indigenous new-generation battle tank now in the prototype production and testing stage.