The Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs has published a news release telling about the visit of Arsen Avakov, head of the ministry, to FORT company where a new handgun ammunition line was launched. According to Mr. Avakov, this new production line will allow to completely fulfill the demand of the Ukrainian Border Guard, National Guard, Police, and other law enforcement agencies.
This project was a joint effort of several Ukrainian ministries. It required an investment of 69 million Ukrainian hryvnias which is roughly equal to $2,520,000. The manufacturing equipment and machinery were purchased from the USA, Poland, Turkey, and the Czech Republic. As mentioned in the press release, large-scale manufacturing of small arms ammunition was earlier done in Lugansk Ammunition Plant, which is no more controlled by the Ukrainian government due to the conflict in the region.
The new ammunition line currently makes only 9x19mm Luger and 9x18mm Makarov cartridges. With a two-shift operation, this small plant is capable of producing 14.5 million of the mentioned two cartridges per year. However, as the minister noted, they are planning to expand the capabilities and later start manufacturing 5.45x39mm and 14.5x114mm cartridges, too.
Mr. Avakov also mentioned that in the foreseeable future they may start exporting the ammunition. I think it is safe to say that one of the most desirable markets for arms and ammunition manufacturers is the US civilian market. Will we see new Ukrainian-made ammo on the US store shelves? It is unknown for now. I think, if they manage to supply the US market with affordable ball ammunition, they will be able to greatly increase both the types of produced cartridges and the manufacturing capacity.
Below you can also find a video showing the new handgun ammunition plant.
“Арсен Аваков: На вінницькому заводі «Форт» запущено лінію повного циклу виробництва”. (2018, December 19). Ministry of Interior Affairs of Ukraine. Retrieved from: http://mvs.gov.ua/ua/news/17188_Arsen_Avakov_Na_vinnickomu_zavodi_Fort_zapushcheno_liniyu_povnogo_ciklu_virobnictva_patroniv_dlya_pistoletiv_dlya_MVS_FOTO.htm
Images from www.mvs.gov.ua