By Aynur Jafarova
The range of defense goods produced in Azerbaijan exceeded 750 items in the first half of 2013, the Defense Industry Ministry said on July 30.
During a board meeting on the results of the first half-year chaired by Defense Industry Minister Yaver Jamalov it was mentioned that 86.4 percent of the ministry's output fell to defense and special purpose goods, while products designated for civilian use accounted for the remaining 13.6 percent.
The meeting discussed production issues, financial and economic performance and prospects of the enterprises as well as entities of the national defense industry.
Speakers noted that as a result of activity under the ministry's respective programs, the work on creating manufacturing sites for the production of defense goods was continued.
According to the 2013 production plan, research and development work covering 70 topics was launched.
Research and development on 11 topics are being successfully conducted at a research institute according to the state order as well.
Two new sites of the Defense Industry Ministry for production of large-caliber bullets at the Telemekhanika plant of the Sherg Production Association and for recycling live ammunition at the Araz plant of the Ufug Production Association were put into operation this year with the participation of President Ilham Aliyev.
Work is underway on the construction of other production sites to be commissioned in 2013.
During the meeting it was noted that the Azerbaijani ministry regularly presents the goods of its enterprises at various international exhibitions.
The ministry first presented only 27 items at the IDEF-2009 exhibition, whereas 130 defense products were presented at the IDEF-2013 exhibition held in May in Turkey.
Gurza patrol vehicles, 7.62 х 54 millimeter Gurza machine guns, 7.62 х 51 millimeter Yalguzag sniper rifles, 7.62 х 54 millimeter attack machine guns of HP-7.62 type, as well as Aerostar and Orbiter unmanned drones were exhibited at the exhibition.
The board meeting also heard reports of the heads of a number of entities and enterprises.
As previously reported, the volume of defense goods produced in Azerbaijan increased by 12 percent in 2012 compared to 2011.
There was also an increase in the production volume of civilian goods in 2012. The total number of such items exceeded 400.
The establishment of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense Industry has been instrumental in strengthening the defense potential of the country.
The Ministry has created a new post-patrol Gurza machine, equipped with two 7.62 mm caliber weapons, one 12.7 mm caliber machine gun, a new 7.62 x 51mm caliber sniper rifle meeting NATO standards, and a machine gun designed for use in special military operations.
Furthermore, a new reconnaissance vehicle has been produced. This machine is equipped with a 23 mm caliber canon, a 7.62 mm caliber twin machine gun mount, an AQ-17 grenade launcher and other military equipment.
Machine guns, mortar launchers, Zafar-K pistols, AK-74M submachine guns, battle and signal bullets, hand grenades, anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, firearms, and spare parts for armored vehicles are among the goods produced and delivered to the customers.