Turkey's defense body awaits new partners for seized firm
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
The Turkish Saving Deposit Insurance Fund has confiscated BMC, which makes the armored vehicle Kirpi. DHA photo
Turkey’s defense industry body has said it might order additional Kirpis – even as around one-third of its first order still has not been delivered – as it hopes the maker of the armored vehicles, BMC, will settle its financial issues after being seized by the state fund.
“We hope it [BMC] will stand up on its feet with a new capital holder and make a new beginning. We may get our remaining orders, and we may have additional orders,” Defense Industry Undersecretary Murad Bayar told yesterday.
Turkish vehicle manufacturer İzmir-based BMC, one of the Çukurova Group companies recently seized by the state fund due to debts of the owner, was supposed to deliver 468 Kirpis and trucks in a range of sizes to the Turkish Defense Ministry by the end of 2012. However, the company, which has been troubled with financial constraints since last May, has only delivered 295 of the order so far.
The Turkish Saving Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) confiscated the BMC on May 17, along with the other 11 companies of Çukurova Group.
“Now our expectations are these steps: The TMSF will find a shareholder for BMC, BMC will start operations again after the completion of the sale and will resume with our orders again,” Bayar said.
Recalling that BMC had halted manufacture of Kirpis before its confiscation by TMSF, Bayar said the government had to cancel some of the orders according to the terms of their contract, but he hinted that if the managerial and financial issues of the company were settled new orders might come as the security forces’ need for Kirpis persists.
Meanwhile, Levent Şenel, the head of the Defense Industry Undersecretariat’s land vehicles department, said in March that if BMC could not solve its problems, the order would need to be procured from somewhere else.
Turkish defense and civil industry firm Otokar has inked an agreement to provide tactical armored vehicles to the security in April. Otokar planned to deliver the order, which is worth 82 million Turkish Liras, in 2013. The agreement encompasses the provision of various types of tactical wheeled armored vehicles. Şenel said in addition to Otokar, FNNS was another company that could also develop this kind of vehicle.