Uzbekistan will produce more than 1,000 armored vehicles in a joint venture with Turkey, a deal finalized during a visit by Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Ankara.
The deal is significant in a number of ways: It is the first arms deal between Turkey and Uzbekistan, and was made during the first visit of an Uzbekistan president to Turkey since 1999. Mirziyoyev, who took power last year after the death of longtime president Islam Karimov, has been gradually opening the country up and reversing some of Karimov's isolationist tendencies.
Also significant is that Uzbekistan plans to export some of the vehicles, which would mark its first significant arms exports in the post-Soviet era. (The Chkalov Tashkent Aircraft Production Corporation was a major manufacturer of civilian and military aircraft in the Soviet Union, but fell on hard times after 1991 and produced only a handful of aircraft before stopping production.)
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