Savunma ve Stratejik Analizler

14 Mayıs 2010 Cuma

Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul: “The military assistance we offered to Azerbaijan exceeded 200 million US dollars”

Azerbaijan can participate in the Turkish ATAK attack and reconnaissance helicopter project

Amman. Rashad Suleymanov – APA. Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul gives an interview to APA

- How do you evaluate current level of the Azerbaijan-Turkey military cooperation? Are you satisfied with the outcomes?

- We have established cooperation in a number of defense sector spheres since Azerbaijan reached its independence and this process is continuing now. There is good cooperation on the training and military education sphere. Azerbaijani officers have an opportunity to get education at the Turkish military schools. Turkish officers are instructing the Azerbaijani armed forces. We are working together at the defense industry sector as well and it is developing. Yesterday two Turkish companies – ASELSAN and MKE signed agreements with the relevant organizations of Azerbaijan about the joint production, which can be good example of the cooperation. MKE will participate in the production of ammunitions in Azerbaijan. ASELSAN will join the production of night vision devices and thermal cameras in Azerbaijan.

- Turkey leads the countries offering military assistance to Azerbaijan. Can you inform us about the latest figures?

- According to the reports I have, the military assistance we offered to Azerbaijan exceeded 200 million US dollars.

-What projects will be implemented jointly in the following years? Media reports that Azerbaijan is interested in participating in the projects of Altay national tank, ATAK helicopter.

-Azerbaijan’s participation in these projects is possible. Azerbaijan can participate in these projects if it wishes. At present, ATAK helicopter is being produced with participation of Italy and Turkey. But if Azerbaijan wishes it can join the production from the beginning.

-What can you say about the activities concerning ATAK project?

-The engine is being renewed. The engine was produced and tested in America. It is a powerful engine. Other systems are being tested at present. If tests are successful, the helicopter will be assembled.

-Do you think that Turkey and Azerbaijan can sign agreement on military partnership? Is there a need for it?

-Agreements, contracts have been signed on all spheres of the defense sector in Azerbaijan. This cooperation already has legal sides. We are the sons of the same nation. We are ready to cooperate with Azerbaijan in all spheres.

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