Uzbekistan’s defense industry recently showed off new military vehicles entering production.
During President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s visit to the Academy of the Armed Forces of Uzbekistan on January 12, the president was shown several products produced by the Uzbek defense industry, including an armored vehicle named Qalqon (“Shield”), manufactured by Krantas Group. Three tactical vehicles were on display as well.
No details about the vehicles were provided. BMPD, a blog run by the Russian think tank CAST, reported that the tactical vehicles were based on the GAZ-3308 Sadko chassis. One had a manned combat station with a machine gun, while the other two did not. The Qalqon armored vehicle did not have a combat station.
Under President Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan has worked to re-arm its military with modern equipment, some of which is being supplied locally as a result of partnerships with international firms. Uzbekistan last year launched production of the Tarlon, whose design is based on the Turkish-made Ejder Yalcin.
Gazeta.uz reported on January 11 that Uzbekistan intends to establish a military production plant in the city of Nurafshon, located south of the capital, Tashkent. According to Uzbek media, the project will cost $55 million. The company Nurafshon-Maxsus-Texnika will operate the plant and plans to invest $16 million in the project. It will receive a loan of $39 million from the National Bank of Uzbekistan to cover the rest of the financing.
Nurafshon-Maxsus-Texnika is jointly owned by Krantas Group – which controls 72 percent – and To’ytepa Metall Qurilmalari.
As part of the first phase of the plant’s operation, Uzbekistan will ramp up production of the Tarlon and Qalqon vehicles, with a goal of eventually being able to manufacture 100 per year, The Tashkent Times reported. The second phase will see the facility manufacture trucks for civilian purposes.