The Beginning of Ammunition Production Trial in Uzići
The President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin, Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, Zoran Đorđević and the Chief of General Staff of Serbian Armed Forces, General Ljubiša Diković attended today the opening of trial production in the Factory of Small Arms Ammunition Belom in Uzići near Požega.
The President of the Republic with his associates, accompanied by Director of Jugoimport SDPR, Jugoslav Petković, representatives of the Ministry of Defence and Serbian Armed Forces, local authorities and defence industries directors toured the plant in which the trial production starts, as well as the plant for water purification and ballistic tunnel for the ammunition testing.
During the press release, the President stated that on that day, everybody had an opportunity to see how, after 14 months, one of the most beautiful and modern factories of Serbian defence industry emerged from nothing, from “meadows and woods”.
-47 people are employed today, and by the end of the year 255 will be working, and by the end of the second phase, there will be 470 of them – Vučić stated and explained that Belgian experts were still installing the equipment and that the work would last until the end of the year when 7.62mm and 9 mm calibres are in question, and with special machines for calibre 12.7mm.
After visiting ballistic tunnel, the President expressed his belief that the factory in Uzići would mean a lot for Požega, and for defence industry of Serbia as well.
- I would like to remind you that back in 2012, defence industry employed 8000 people, and today the number is 11 300, while by the end of the year this sector will employ 12 000 workers – the President said and reminded that the overall export in 2012 was 154 million US dollars, while today it amounts to 484 million and “we will not be satisfied with envisaged 750 million for the end of 2020, but we expect it to be over a billion”.
The President announced that a lot was yet to be done, particularly in defence industry of Serbia but according to his belief the capacities of the factory will not suffice so that the investments into new plants would continue in the future.
- Even if we had constructed 5 times larger capacities here, we could have sold everything, since demand is great; however, we have not mastered the technology of machines yet, the equipment is expensive and here the costs were more than 70 million euros, but each employee will produce around 500 000 pieces of small calibre ammunition per year, which is in line with the highest European standards when it comes to automation and robotisation along with the least use of labour – President Vučić stated adding that in spite of that, a significant number of people would be hired in the new factory, which would generate great profit since the entire production was sold in advance.
Regarding defence industry, he announced “new ideas for propellant charge” in Utva from Pančevo, as well as the new plans for Kraljevo which are under discussion with foreign investors, and that soon enough the National Assembly would adopt a law enabling than cooperation.
-These are all good news, the market is big and defence industry will expand, and we have to make progress in order to maintain our security and safety, and because we want to make greater profit- the President said and repeated that, in Uzići, we would produce around 100 million pieces of small calibre ammunition and at least 12 million pieces of 12mm calibre.
The small arms ammunition factory, after the first phase of construction, that is going to be completed by November this year, will consist of 19 facilities of the overall gross area of 9 thousand square metres, where 103 million pieces of ammunition of 7.62 and 9mm calibre will be produced of the total value of 26.2 million euros.
The investment value of the construction works in the first phase amounts to 16.4 million eurs, and of technological equipment 17.2 million euros. The total value of the investment in the factory is 91.2 million euros.