WARSAW — Azerbaijan is planning to acquire new military vehicles from Kazakhstan. The know-how for the Kazakh defense industry will be provided by South African Paramount Group, reports local news agency APA.
Under the plan, the contract for the purchase of vehicles is to be signed by the end of this year. The value of the planned contract with Azerbaijan's Ministry of Defense was not disclosed.
Kazakhstan Engineering said the vehicle would be the Mbombe six-wheel-drive armored fighting vehicle.
In addition to Azerbaijan, other countries considering acquiring the vehicles include the Republic of South Africa, Brazil and Gabon, according to the Kazakh firm.
The date for launching the manufacturing of the vehicles has not been disclosed yet, but Kazakhstan is planning to produce at least 120 in 2018. This said, output could be increased to as much as 360.
Paramount Group says it is the largest privately owned defense and aerospace business in Africa. Set up in 1994, the South African group has a product portfolio that consists of a wide range of weapons and military gear. These include armored personnel carriers (APCs), aircraft, UAVs and others, according to data released by Paramount Group.
In 2014, Paramount Group inked a deal with local manufacturer Kazakhstan Engineering to produce APCs under a license at the latter's plant in Astana, the country's capital. Kazakhstan Engineering is a state-run company controlled by the Kazakh Ministry of Defense.
Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.