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With Help From Abroad, Kazakhstan's Weapons Business Booming

The Eurocopter factory in Astana.

Kazakhstan's defense industry will soon be manufacturing helicopters, night vision equipment, 1,000-ton warships, armored personnel carriers and drones – all with the help of foreign companies.

Kazakhstan's market for military equipment is still small, but it's growing, and foreign defense contractors want a share of the business. But the government of Kazakhstan is imposing the same condition on nearly every deal it makes with a foreign defense company: they have to set up manufacturing in Kazakhstan, hand over the technical details of the equipment, and train locals to build and repair it themselves.

At the KADEX defense expo in Astana two years ago, several of the foreign defense contractors who exhibited said they weren't enthusiastic about the requirements to cooperate with local partners.

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With Help From Abroad, Kazakhstan's Weapons Business Booming

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