The Ministry of Defense responded to criticism of the manufacturer of military equipment

NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM – The Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan has given an official comment on the criticism of Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering LLP by the domestic manufacturer of military equipment, Kazinform correspondent reports.

“The Ministry of Defense, which is responsible for the country’s defense capability, has needs for a variety of types of weapons and military equipment (WME). At the same time, the military department puts the enterprises of the domestic military-industrial complex as a priority. Over the years of independence, the defense industry has achieved some success in terms of production and increasing the localization of products in demand in the army – shipbuilding, production and repair of air defense equipment, optical-electronic systems, armored vehicles,” the official response says.

The department emphasizes that the needs of the domestic market are insignificant, and even more so for weapons and military equipment. Therefore, the manufacturer of such products needs to diversify production and focus on exports. When acquiring military equipment and weapons, the Ministry of Defense focuses solely on their tactical, technical, operational characteristics, as well as the price-quality ratio.

“Neither the Minister of Defense, nor any official, only a specially created collegial body, based on the assessments of military experts, scientists, the combat strength of the Armed Forces and the nature of possible hostilities, determine what weapons and what equipment to acquire. Not a single country in the world explains in detail why this or that weapon is being acquired, of this or that model, type and quantity,” the information says.

The ministry explains that one of the founders of Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering, Paramount Group Limited, is a South African corporation specializing in defense and aerospace engineering. Its armored vehicles became the prototype of the Kazakh armored wheeled vehicle. Initially, the BKM “Arlan” was a copy of the South African armored personnel carrier Marauder.

“In 2011, a company from South Africa, which is the progenitor of KPI LLP, entered into a deal with Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK) for the supply of armored vehicles in the amount of 90 million euros. However, starting from 2016, it did not deliver in full and in February 2018, STK filed an application for declaring PCS bankrupt. In 2018, a company from South Africa was declared bankrupt and ceased to exist due to financial difficulties and untimely fulfillment of its obligations,” the Ministry of Defense notes.

In addition, the Marader and Matador armored vehicles with enhanced mine protection (MRAP) were originally intended for public order and security (police functions), counter-terrorism operations, border patrols, and participation in peacekeeping missions, but not for armed forces.

The department reports that, despite a wide marketing campaign, these types of armored vehicles are not in service with the South African army, and the 25 armored vehicles produced were transferred to the South African police units.

“Paramount Group in South Africa has discontinued the production of Marader and Matador armored vehicles. Along with this, the Ministry of Defense Industry of Azerbaijan previously purchased 45 BKM “Marader” and “Matador”, another 65 machines were produced at the plant “EVM” in Azerbaijan. Further production on its territory has also been discontinued. In 2008, the Paramount Group and KADDB (Jordan) entered into an agreement on the joint production of the Marader BKM. At the same time, serial production at the Jordanian enterprise was not carried out, ”the commentary says.

According to the information, in 2011 the Georgian Defense Ministry abandoned the production of the Marader BKM in favor of the Didgori BKM, developed on the basis of the Ford Super Duty.

“Thus, Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering LLP remains the only company producing unclaimed products. To the remark “Today, the Yuarovtsy fully transferred the technologies and drawings” we answer: “The model is discontinued, the plant is bankrupt, this BKM is not used anywhere in the armies of the world. Therefore, the technical documentation was handed over to Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering LLP. The cost of documentation is included in the cost of the products of this LLP,” the Ministry of Defense concluded.

Earlier, information was published in the media, where the head of the Association of enterprises of the military-industrial complex of Kazakhstan, Aibek Barysov, complained about the reluctance of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan to purchase military equipment from a domestic manufacturer, and the preference of departments for foreign analogues. He stated that the competent authorities are primarily interested in the price, not the quality of equipment.

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