Precise instrumentation – the JIHAZ signature
General Director: “We have begun production of new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles”
The General Director of the MDI’s Jihaz Production Association, Mr Falah Guliyev responds to questions from AZERI DEFENCE magazine.
– Mr Guliyev, the Jihaz PA occupied a special place in the military industry of the former Soviet Union. Can you tell us about some of its current activities and the manufacturing capabilities of the Association?
– Jihaz PA is a high-profile association of the MDI. Currently, four separate entities operate under the association – The Sanayejihaz Scientific-Production Center, the Electronic Calculating Machines (ECM) Plant, the Peyk plant and the Sherur radio plant, specializing in the fields of instrumentation, mechanical engineering and electronics. RPG-7V2 hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers, 60mm and 82mm mortars, various types of ammunition and other weapons systems and munitions are just some of the products developed and produced by these entities.
In the area of combat vehicle production, our joint project with the Paramount Group from the Republic of South Africa for the production of two types of mine-resistant armoured combat vehicles – the Matador and the Marauder- is now being implemented. We have delivered 45 vehicles to the AR Armed Forces under the framework of this project, which consists of several phases. Production, development and testing processes for both models are well underway, and the next batch of these vehicles will be delivered to the customer by the end of this year.
I want to add that the Matador and Marauder armoured combat vehicles have been fully adapted to meet local conditions, and that as a result the transmissions of these vehicles have been changed.
At the same time, we are always looking to identify new opportunities and markets. We have agreed on the co-production of two types of vehicles with a company from the Republic of South Africa. We are trying to get the first prototypes ready to introduce them at the ADEX-2016 exhibition Cutting, bending and other works on the armoured plates used in the production of the vehicles will be carried out in Azerbaijan, while the engine, gear boxes and certain other parts will be imported from the RSA. One of these vehicles will be light armoured carrier, while the other will be a mine-resistant vehicle. I’d like to note that similar types of vehicles are also produced in our region, mainly in Georgia. Our vehicles, however, will be superior to the Didgori vehicles made in Georgia in terms of their manoeuvrability and their level of protection.
Alongside the production of these vehicles we are also working on manufacturing a special turret to arm them. We have started this work with the RSA’s EWT company, and we have thus far produced turrets for three different calibre weapons – 7.62 mm, 14.5 mm and 20-mm. After initial testing these turrets have been significantly improved, and a new turret armed with a 14.5-mm machine gun is now ready, and testing of that turret has already commenced at the polygon.
– Can you tell us about the features of this new armament turret?
– In fact, our plan is to develop and produce a turret with a universal platform. It will then be possible to install either 12.7 mm / 14.5 mm large-calibre machine guns or 20 mm / 23 mm small-calibre automatic cannon by changing the base of the turret on which the guns are mounted and the software of the management system. A PKT 7.62 mm machine gun has been mounted In the turret’s second weapon station. The full complement of ammunition for the 7.62 mm Kalashnikov anti-tank machine gun (PKT) is 500 cartridges, while the 14.5-mm Vladimirov anti-tank heavy machine gun’s (KPVT) total is 300 cartridges. We plan to demonstrate the new turret on a BTR-70 armoured transporter at the ADEX-2016 exhibition.
– Let’s talk about the export capabilities of Jihaz PA. You exported RPG-7V2 hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers to Turkey in 2015, and you also export to Russia. Are there any new developments?
– Jihaz PA is at the forefront of the MDI’s export activities. Both our export opportunities and our direct foreign orders are increasing.
The Sanayejihaz Scientific-Production Centre (SPC), which is a subsidiary of our Production Association, produces various systems for the ships of the Russian Naval Forces. Presently, due to a change in the diplomatic relations between Russia and Ukraine, new opportunities have opened up for us in this region. Consequently, we have received orders from Russia for the development of new devices. I was in Russia recently at the invitation of the United Shipbuilding Corporation of Russia, and based on agreements made during our meetings we have begun manufacturing several new products. The number of orders for repairs to medium-sized ships in the Russian Navy’s fleet has also increased significantly over the same period. One of the most important challenges we face is to ensure the continued improvement of the aforementioned devices.
Jihaz PA has been operating since 1956 and specializes in the production of precision instrumentation. It has extensive experience producing various types of dispensers, gauges and flow meters and this tradition continues. I also want to mention that 152 organizations of the former USSR assisted in the construction of the metrology station in Sanayejihaz SPC. Today, many of those organizations no longer not exist. The factory would cost a great deal of money if they had to rebuild it today. Sanayejihaz SPC currently designs and manufactures flow meters, dosing units, and sensors for various liquids, including aggressive liquids with a wide range of flow and pressure. These devices are used in the oil industry, in civil and military shipbuilding, aviation and rocketry, public utilities, nuclear power plants and thermal power stations.
Today, our entities produce devices not only for Russian shipbuilding, but also for the space industry.
We anticipate that the volume of exports at the Sanayejihaz SPC will increase at the end of this year and in the first quarter of 2017. Additionally, we export grenade launchers and mortars produced at the ECM plant. We have exported significant volumes to various African nations, and we are presently on the verge of executing export contracts with several other countries. I should also note that currently some 70-80 percent of our production capacity is dedicated to exports.
As I mentioned earlier, we exported RPG-7V2 grenade launchers to Turkey in 2015. Since then we have also sold grenade launchers and mortars to at least 8 other countries.
At present, the production of a new kind of long-range 60-mm mortar launcher and its ammunition is being finalized in our PA. We plan to commence serial production of this mortar launcher in 2017.
– Are there any export opportunities for the printed circuit boards manufactured at the Peyk plant?
– In the former USSR, the Peyk plant specialized in the production of printed circuit boards, and it’s still a plant with enormous potential. At one time, we exported these products to various countries around the world, but we lost most of these customers after the collapse of the Soviet Union. At present, we export to Belarus and Turkey and we are negotiating with two other Belarusian companies to boost exports.
– Two years ago, the Jihaz PA submitted a tender in Bangladesh to upgrade their tanks. What was the result of this international tender?
– Partnering with a Czech Republic company, we submitted a joint proposal to this tender offer announced by the Armed Forces of Bangladesh for the improvement of their T-54, Type-59, Type-69 and Type-62 tanks of their armoured tank units. We made the most suitable commercial offer at the tender, competing against both HIT of Pakistan and the Chinese company NORINCO. In the final stage of the tender it came down to our company against NORINCO, and although our bid was lower than that of the Chinese company, NORINCO was eventually announced as the winner of the tender and awarded the contract. Notwithstanding, we continue our projects. We would like to participate in the project for the upgrading of the BTR armoured personnel carrier (APC) used by the Turkish Armed Forces with our Agregat Production Association, and we have also submitted bid documents in a tender for the purchase of mine-resistant vehicles for the Turkish Gendarmerie Forces.
– We know that Jihaz PA carried out some projects in the field of logistics. Can you tell us about the projects?
– We work assiduously in the area of providing logistical support to the army. We produce 20 different types of mobile kitchens with capacities for between 10 and 400 people powered by different fuel types. Additionally, we have produced water treatment facilities capable of cleaning 10 tons of toxic wastewater per hour, mobile health networks and mobile bakeries and delivered them to our army. These facilities are used by the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Justice, the State Border Service and Internal Troops. At present, negotiations are being held with the Democratic Republic of Congo for the sale and export of 10 mobile kitchens.
Our company produces electronic targets for the Semipalatinsk Test Site (the Polygon). These systems are installed in the Polygon for Interior Troops and have been used for one year with no defects. We are also developing other target systems for the State Border Services. We have tried to fulfil all the training requirements of our army with our target systems. The software is archived for each person and the results can be analyzed at any time by extracting the information from the system.
– What are your plans in the field of precision instruments where Sanayejihaz was one of the leading manufacturers?
– At present, the devices we manufacture at the Sanayejihaz plant are some of the leading devices in the industry due to their extremely high degree of accuracy. As I mentioned, sensors, flow meters and dosing units used in various types of Russian vessels are produced at our PA. Once the devices are installed in the ships, our experts take part in trials and testing exercises. We have received international certification. Recently, we have produced prototypes of our new flow meters for the Russian Space Forces and submitted them to the customer. At present, these devices are being tested by the customer. I can proudly state that at the Sanayejihaz SPC, precision instrumentation is being developed and manufactured at the highest level and our experts fully develop and actualize their potential in this field, so I am confident that we will make great strides developing new products in the very near future.
– Can you share your future plans with us?
– Various projects are being executed in our entities in accordance with the state establishment program. The Ministry assigns certain tasks and we do our best to fulfil them. At the same time, new types of products are being developed and produced on the initiative of our own entities. We are currently working on 6 devices on order from Russia. As for the production of weapons and ammunition, we are going to submit 4 new products for trials this year, and as I mentioned, we plan to introduce two new types of armoured vehicles, improved turrets, various types of mortars and new kinds of ammunition at the ADEX-2016 exhibition.