Beretta Agrees Qatar Rifle Production License

    ARX 160s in Afghanistan

    Italian Troops in Afghanistan with ARX160s

    Qatar has used the opening ceremony of 2018’s Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX) to announce the signing of a number of major defence agreement, including a manufacturing license with Italian small arms manufacturer Beretta.

    Qatar has established a new defence company called Barzan Holdings, Barzan will oversee Qatar’s strategic procurement needs and have announced the signing of a series of joint ventures. One of these joint ventures is an agreement with Beretta to create a venture to be known as “Bindig,” the Qatari word for a rifle. Bindig Reportedly represents the first time Beretta has established a joint venture in the Middle East, the new company will manufacture Beretta pistols and rifles under licsense in Qatar.

    ARX160 carbine

    Beretta ARX160 Carbine, Beretta Firearms will be manufactured under license in Qatar (Beretta Defense)

    The Beretta small arms produced under the Bindig name will be issued to the Qatar Armed Forces and other security and government agencies. Announcing the establishment of Barzan and the signing of a raft of agreements Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Chairman of Barzan Holdings, said at DIMDEX:

    The State of Qatar is seeking to acquire the most innovative technologies, cutting-edge practices and methods, and to train human capabilities to ensure self-sufficiency in defence. To achieve this, Barzan Holdings was established as the official entity authorised to hold strategic partnerships with leading international companies in the military field, where joint projects will focus on building human and technological capital, research and development, and provide consultancy regarding conducting strategic procurement required by Qatar’s different military sectors.

    In total Barzan have announced 21 joint ventures with defence industry partners from around the world covering numerous technology sectors. These include Raytheon, BMC, Rheinmetall and Wilcox Industries. Rheinmetall will help Barzan set up new ammunition manufacturing facilities to increase Qatari self-sufficiency.

    Beretta will help Barzan establish a small arms manufacturing centre in Doha with research and development facilities. The Qatari military currently uses a mix of M16 and M4s, but the establishment of Bindig with Beretta means Qatar will probably be adopting the ARX series of rifles including the 5.56x45mm ARX160 and the 7.62x51mm ARX200. Press statements also suggest pistols will be manufactured by Bindig, these might include Beretta’s new APX and the tried and tested 92F. Qatar is the latest in a series of recent contracts won by Beretta following sales to Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Argentina.


    Barzan Holdings inks deals to meet Qatar’s defence needs’, Qatar Tribune, retrieved 15/03/18 from source

    Barzan Holdings Officially Launched’, Gulf Times, retrieved 15/03/18 from source

    ‘Barzan Holdings Signs Multiple Agreements to Meet Qatar’s Long-Term Defence and Security Needs’, Defense Aerospace, retrieved 15/03/18 from source

    Matthew Moss

    _________________________________________________________________________ – Managing Editor – Managing Editor

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. He also runs Historical Firearms, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of The Armourer’s Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms.

    Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]