YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Polish defense company, Lubawa SA, hopes to expand its recently established joint venture in Armenia and export protective equipment for armed forces manufactured there to other former Soviet states.
The venture was set up by Lubawa and the Armenian Defense Ministry in the central Armenian town of Charentsavan in early 2013. Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian and his former Polish counterpart Bogdan Klich inaugurated it in October 2014.
Using Lubawa’s technology and expertise, the Charentsavan plant produces a range of protective gear such as army helmets, flak jackets, big and inflatable tents, camouflage netting and decoys. Ohanian said at the inauguration ceremony that these items will be supplied to the armed forces of not only Armenia but also other nations.
Lubawa’s chief executive, Marcin Kubica, discussed the matter with Ohanian and other senior Armenian military officials when he visited Yerevan in mid-December. In a subsequent statement on those talks, the Polish company said the two sides agreed on a “development strategy” that identifies potential export markets for their joint enterprise called Lubawa Armenia.
“The export markets which Lubawa Armenia will attempt to win in the first place will be Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan,” read the statement. It said the Armenian Defense Ministry will assist in that endeavor.
“The parties unanimously confirmed the possibility of smoothly increasing the production capabilities of Lubawa Armenia SA in case it wins major contracts,” added the statement.
The Armenian side was also reported to have committed itself to purchasing camouflage nets, tents and individual protective gear from Lubawa Armenia in the course of this year. The Defense Ministry in Yerevan already commissioned in late 2013 the first batch of such nets worth $1 million.
Lubawa further announced that the Charentsavan plant, in which it holds a 51 percent stake, is ready to manufacture inflatable boats, protective suits and other individual equipment for rescuers. It said that the Armenian Ministry of Local Government and Emergency Situations is “interested” in purchasing such equipment for its rescue service.