Turkish defense company sells equipment to Armenia .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ANKARA - Nurol Machinery and Industry Inc., a Turkish firm in the defense business, is preparing to sell vehicle-mounted water cannons to Armenia and hopes its new armored personnel carrier will continue its popularity abroad.

"Armenia contacted us. Talks have been going on for some time now," said Nurol Machinery’s deputy general manager of marketing, Tanju Torun, during a demonstration for the firm's new six-wheeled armored personnel carrier, named "Ejder" (Dragon) yesterday.

Vehicle-mounted water cannons are typically used for crowd control. Torun did not give the exact number of water cannon vehicles destined for Armenia if the talks end positively. Eight people were killed last March when the Armenian police intervened against activists who were protesting the Feb. 19 elections and claiming that they were rigged by the opposition.

’Reasonable price’

Torun didn’t say how many vehicles were about to be sold. "I can say the price is reasonable. We are already exporting the vehicles to 10 countries," Torun said.

Ejder, a domestically designed armored vehicle on wheels that is resistant to tank mines and Improvised Explosive Device, or IEDs, will participate in the bid for the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries, or SSM’s, Special Purpose Tactical Wheeled Armored Vehicles Procurement Project, on April 24.

"Ejder fully meets NATO standards for armor and I can say that its price is approximately half of its foreign equivalents. I expect that it will enter the Turkish military’s inventory, too," Torun said. Ejder has amphibious capability and can operate in temperatures ranging from Ğ32 to 55 degrees Celsius.

"Curiously enough, we sold Ejder abroad before it came to use in Turkey," Torun said, adding that over 50 Ejder vehicles were already sold. "The Columbian defense ministry asked for a meeting to purchase Ejders," Torun said. Talks for export continue with many countries, he said.

"It has not been combat tested yet, but it is very resistant to mines and enables the crew to resume its mission after a hit," Torun said.

Its maximum speed reaches 110 kilometers per hour, a considerably good performance for an 18-ton vehicle, Torun said. "We also managed to reduce the noise the personnel are exposed to down to 80 decibels in park, and to 89 decibels at full speed," Torun said. Nurol Machinery and Industry Inc., has been in the defense industry since the early 1990s.