ANKARA: Malaysia is set to produce armoured personnel carriers (APC) for the Asia-Pacific region.
The country plans to buy 257 units of armoured carrier frames from the FNSS Defence System plant here and assemble components sourced from various countries.
Deftech Malaysia and FNSS Turkey signed a letter of agreement for the purchase of the main body frame of the armoured carrier here yesterday.
An APC is an armoured fighting vehicle designed to transport infantry to the battlefield.
APCs are usually armed with only a machine gun although variants carry recoilless rifles, anti-tank guided missiles or mortars. They are usually not designed to take part in a direct-fire battle.
FNSS chief executive officer K. Nail Kurt briefed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his entourage on the facilities at the company’s high security plant. Also present were Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and army chief Jen Datuk Sri Zulkifeli Zin.
Speaking to reporters after the signing, Zahid said the carriers would be assembled at the Deftech plant in Pekan, Pahang.
FNSS is willing to accord Deftech its intellectual property rights that also allows it to export the assembled products to the Asia-Pacific region.
“We have an understanding that we can source the defence fittings from elsewhere,” said Zahid, adding that Malaysia plans to mix-and-match various technologies.
Najib later laid a wreath at the Anitkabir mausoleum as a mark of respect for Turkey’s founder and first president Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Najib also had a closed-door meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyib Erdogan.
The two leaders later witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Small and Medium Enterprises Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp) and Turkey’s Small and Medium Industry Organisation (KOSGEB). SME Corp CEO Datuk Hafsah Hashim and KOSGEB president Mustafa Kaplan signed the MoU.