Azerbaijan, with Turkey's help, gets a jump start on its defense industry
Turkey's relationship with Azerbaijan may be strained over the former's attempts at rapprochement with Armenia, but cooperation between the two countries' defense industries seems as strong as ever. Turkey's defense minister visited Baku last week, and the two countries signed a whole raft of agreements on setting up joint ventures in Azerbaijan to produce rockets, drones, grenade launchers, camouflage material and possibly helicopters.
Azerbaijan seems to be following the same strategy as Kazakhstan -- get foreign companies to come and bring their superior military technology so that local companies can eventually produce that equipment by themselves, in an attempt to diversify the economy beyond just oil and gas. In fact, Azerbaijan started this a while ago, setting up a Ministry of Defense Industry in 2005 and setting up its first big joint venture, to produce a South African mine-protected vehicle in late 2009. So it seems likely that Kazakhstan may be following Azerbaijan's example.
Whatever the case, assuming these agreements actually come to fruition, there are now two burgeoning defense industries on either side of the Caspian.