It is possible to start making small arms in Belarus while fully localizing the process, BelTA learned from Chairman of the State Military Industrial Committee of Belarus Roman Golovchenko on 31 January.
The official said: “There are no problems with making everything domestically. There are a huge number of manufacturers that offer process lines. If they supply turn-key solutions, we will make [small arms]. Starting the production is not the point. Recouping the investments is. The head of state wants everything calculated and justified. We can spend a certain amount of money. But we need to be sure it will produce the desired effect. This is why localization is not a problem. We are now working on effective localization.”
A lot has been invested in the production of ammunition and small arms. “The certification of a cutting-edge certification and testing lab is nearly over,” the official added. It is an international requirement, the lab will be able to certify rounds of a certain caliber. After certification rounds will be handed over to law enforcement and security agencies for testing. After the results are reviewed, the decision will be made whether the rounds should enter into service.
Sport and hunting rounds are already being exported. “As for small arms, R&D work is in progress as well as experimental work to make certain components,” Roman Golovchenko explained. In his words, everything proceeds on schedule, “there will be Belarusian weapons without a doubt.”
The official noted that it is necessary to use a large number of high-precision machine tools and even 3D printers to make small arms. For now the committee keeps in mind leading Western manufacturers. Not all of them are ready to supply products to Belarus due to certain restrictions.
There is strong competition on the market of small arms and ammunition. “This is why it is quite difficult to penetrate the market from zero. We are now moving bearing in mind economic advisability. We see a large market for hunting rounds and sport rounds. There is a strong demand for them in the West. Since we have a rather compact enterprise, we are competitive in this sector. This is why our export focuses on this direction for now,” Roman Golovchenko said.