World armies to now use Turkey’s new infantry rifle

Published 07.05.2013 11:58
Updated 07.05.2013 12:07

For the first time ever, a military will be handing over their Kalashnikovs in order to take up Turkish manufacture infantry rifles. Sarsılmaz Arms Industry, the firm running the 18 million lira project, was joined by TÜBİTAK and two universities in the production of Turkey’s new infantry rifle the SAR 223.

Sarsılmaz Arms Industry, which has produced Turkey's first-ever domestic-make infantry rifle, the SAR 223, has already signed with a nation's military to provide the weaponry which will mark the first time in world history that a Turkish rifle will be used to replace the Russian's legendary Kalashnikov. The SAR 223 contains five patents the most important of which is the trigger mechanism, says Sarsılmaz Arms Industry Executive Board Chairman Latif Aral Aliş. "The trigger system is the most important part of the weapon; in other words we could refer to it as the engine. We worked hard on Research and Development. We established Turkey's first ballistic weapons test center. We are also working on developing projects for a sharpshooter and a machine gun in the near future." Explaining that they produce at reasonable costs, Aliş stated, "Soon we will be selling more of these guns then side arms. In the long term, we will be bringing down Kalashnikov from its throne." Aliş also revealed that Sarsılmaz Arms Industry has signed a deal with a certain nation's military for the sale of SAR 223 and said they would soon begin exporting this technology to said country, the name of which he said it is too early to disclose.

AN 18 MILLION INVESTMENT

The total cost for the SAR 223 during the manufacturing stage has reached 18 million liras, stated Aliş, who went on to explain that the total investment will come to 27 million liras. Emphasizing that they are the one and only when it comes to their weapons design, Aliş said, "Our designs are much more superior to those competing in the global market. We have produced the newest generation and most technologically advanced infantry rifle that exists at presenting in the world."

2,000 PRODUCED A MONTH

Mentioning that they currently export to 72 different countries, Aliş stated, "We began with 2,000 manufactures a month and we will be swiftly increasing this number." The rifle is modular, and provides the option of utilizing a number of accessories such as laser pointers, flash lights, lengthening and shortening targets and day and night vision tools while also maintaining the ability to operate underwater. In addition, as an infantry rifle with a Picatinny rail, the weapon can be fitted with a variety of combat accessories including grenade launchers.

100 MILLION DOLLARS IN EXPORTS IN ITS THIRD YEAR

Aliş explains that in the initial stage they will be exporting 30 million dollars worth which will go up to 50 million dollars in their second year and in the third year up to 100 billion dollars. Aliş also says that they have tried to use as much domestic capital as possible in their weapons production and that their aim is to ensure the added value remains in Turkey. The timing of this investment seems to be impeccable in the fact that it coincides with the recent bankruptcy of the producer of the world's most-used weapon the AK-47 Kalashnikov. This rifle, which is both new generation and more economic than its rivals, is considered to be a potential global replacement for the famous Kalashnikov.

This is a translation of an article originally written by Barış Ergin.

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