Russia continues to gradually open its defense market for foreign manufacturers. On May 6 Russian Technologies Corporation, a giant state-controlled industrial and defense holding, announced its plans to launch a joint venture with Italian small arms manufacturer Beretta. According to the Corporation’s head Sergey Chemezov, the JV may start its work in the beginning of 2011 and will manufacture hand guns for police and intelligence agencies as well as hunting and sporting weapons. These weapons intended for both domestic market and export will be the first foreign small arms manufactured in Russia since WWI.
The JV will be located in the town of Vyatskie Polyany, Kirov region, at the facilities of a Molot plant controlled by Russian Technologies. Molot used to manufacture Kalashnikov RPK light machine guns, automatic grenade launchers and ATGMs. But now Russian Technologies plans to restructure its small arms assets that also include Izhevsk-based Izhmash and Izhmekh companies. “All military products will be manufactured at Izhmekh and Izhmash while Molot will be repurposed”, mentioned Chemezov.
According to Kommersant daily, the annual sales volume of the new JV is to amount to 35 million euro. It will manufacture 160 thousand firearms a year, including about 60 thousand military handguns. The agreement between Russian Technologies and Beretta will be reportedly finalized in May.