Turkish defense contractor BMC to break ground on new factory

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

BMC, one of Turkey's largest commercial and defense vehicle producers, will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for its "strategic base" in Karasu, in the northwestern province of Sakarya on Sunday.

The TL 1-billion ($180 million) facility will be one of the biggest defense industry investments in recent years, media reports said. The factory will cover an area of 2,500 acres and create 1,150 direct and 4,600 indirect jobs.

The company will also announce its 50-year vision at the ceremony. The program will be attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, as well as prominent representatives of the business world.

The Qatari government owns a significant stake in BMC. It acquired around 50 percent of the company in 2014.

Previous reports said the company will invest $685 million at the Karasu plant by 2023 and employ around 10,000 workers in total, as well as 3,000 white-collar engineers.

The ceremony on Sunday will also witness the opening of the BMC İzmir Pınarbaşı Factory through a live connection and the operation of the BMC POWER, a fully indigenous motor engine developed in Turkey.

At the event, a commercial film on BMC Tuğra truck, which premiered at the International Motor Show IAA in Hannover, Germany, will also be screened for the first time.

BMC investments in wheeled and tracked armored vehicles, laser guns, unmanned armored vehicles, diesel engines, high-speed trains, subways and regional trains, which the company aims to produce in Sakarya, will be supported by the super incentive package announced by Erdoğan last April.

Meanwhile, BMC is also taking a part in the production of Turkey's first homegrown main battle tank (MBT), Altay. In November, it signed a landmark deal with the Presidency of Defense Industries (SBB) for the mass production of the next-generation battle tank.

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