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Uganda opens armoured vehicle plant

A batch of Streit Falcon armoured personnel carriers (APCs) was displayed during the opening of the NEC-Streit facility. (Yoweri Museveni)

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has formally opened a new armoured vehicle manufacturing and assembly facility that was built in Nakasongola as a joint project by the Uganda People's Defence Forces' (UPDF's) National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) and the Streit Group, a company based in the United Arab Emirates.

During the televised opening ceremony on 27 July, NEC managing director Lieutenant General James Mugira said the project began with a meeting in March 2018, during which, Streit chairman Guerman Goutorov proposed establishing the plant at the company's cost.

“It's a full-fledged manufacturing facility, not just [for] assembly,” Goutorov said. “All the products it will produce you can proudly say: made in Uganda.”

He added that Streit wants to share the products it has been developing that are not land vehicles, which he listed as unmanned aircraft, communications, armoured boats, and cyber security. “We are here for you; anything you need, we are here to accommodate you.”

UPDF chief General Wilson Mbadisaid the plant would produce vehicles for Uganda's military, police, VIPs, and regional requirements.

“This partnership will also benefit us in many other ways [including] technology transfer, local capacity building … savings of our hard-earned foreign currency, and at a tactical and operational level, enhancing mobility, protection, firepower, and operational efficiency,” he said. “This plant also helps us cushion the UPDF against irrational arms embargoes that are normally put on countries that promote stability because it interferes with imperialism.”

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