25 April 2011
Oto Melara 76mm mounted on KD Kedah (photo : encik kacang)
KUALA LUMPUR: Italy's Oto Melara, one of the world's top 10 defence companies, strengthened its presence in Malaysia and the region by partnering privately-held Genting Etika Sdn Bhd.
The alliance is a platform for Oto to jointly bid for future armed forces projects especially from the yet-to-be announced second generation patrol vessel programme.
Genting Etika managing director Captain Azhar Abdul Rahman Sdn Bhd said the firm will invest RM5 million to set up a workshop facility in Lumut, Perak. This is to put the partnership in a better position to vie for business deals especially from the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) as well as naval forces in the region.
Oto Melara senior vice president marketing and sales Ulderigo Rossi said with the partnership, Oto Melara will be in a "superior" position to meet current and future requirements from the RMN.
"We have secured the funding from bank loans and the workshop is expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2012," Azhar told reporters after inking the agreement here yesterday.
Oto Melara has been supplying guns to the Malaysian navy since the 1970s. This includes field artillery guns on four Laksmana class corvettes and recently the 12 guns on the current offshore patrol vessel fleet.
Established in 2001, Genting Etika is Oto Melara's licensed and authorised agent in Malaysia since 2008. The firm is owned by a former admiral from the RMN.
Genting Etika provides technical services, maintenance and supply of defence related equipment to the Defence Ministry through government tenders.
In its business presentation, Oto Melara said the partnership may have a businss potential of up to ?25 million (RM110 million) by 2020 to maintain, integrate, produce and sell products to armed forces in the region.
Rossi said Oto Melara will transfer technology required to Genting Etika. This will also include the possibility of setting up a joint venture that may lead to sharing of risks, intellectual property rights and profits.