Zastava Arms of Kragujevac, Serbia plans to deliver new .50 cal. “Black Arrow” sniper rifles, 40mm grenade launchers and a new batch of M-21 automatic rifles to the Serbian Army.
Kragujevac – Beginning in 2010 an throughought 2011, the Serbian Army will take delivery of new light infantry weapons from Serbian arms manufacturer “Zastava Arms”. In order to modernize the Serbian military, the Defense Department and “Zastava Arms” have signed two contracts for the procurement of weapons constructed at the Kragujevac factory, valued at 180 million. Based on these agreements, the Zastava Arms will deliver to the Serbian Army new M-21 assault rifles, .50 cal. heavy sniper rifles and M203 type grenade launchers.
According to general director of Zastava Arms Rade Gromović 2010 has been a slow year for Zastava Arms and its export of large supply of military and civilian arms abroad. Gromović added that the upcoming contracts with the Army of Serbia are of great importance to his factory.
That the Serbian Ministry of Defense signaled that it was ready to continue the process of modernization after a two years lull and has contracted Zastava to again begin delivery of its newest 5.56mm M21 automatic rifle.
Since it began supplying the Serbian military with M-21’s in 2007, Zastava arms has delivered 2,100 rifles.
Even with the global economic crisis, the Serbian defense industry and the export of weapons from Serbia abroad has constantly grown since 2005. In 2010 alone, Serbia’s defence industry has signed contracts totalling about one billion dollars.
According Gromović, Zastava Arms is searching for ways to become a profitable firm. Citing lack of funds necessary to restore equipment and unfavorable personnel structure in the factory Zastava Arms has been in the red for a while now..
Brane Kartalović (Politika)