Beretta Holding will soon begin production of 7.62 NATO and 12.7 mm (.50 BMG) cartridges in Hungary, according to a memorandum of understanding it signed with Hungary’s N7 National Defense Industry Innovation Holding (N7) in early November. The conflict in Ukraine underscores the critical need for domestically produced ammunition sources, according to comments made by Hungarian Minister of Defence Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky at the ceremony.
It’s not Beretta Holding’s first effort in Hungary, however. In July 2022 the company acquired 100-percent ownership of Ammotec, an ammunition firm formerly owned by Switzerland’s Ruag International. Sixteen companies became part of Beretta in 12 different nations that include Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Australia, Austria, the United States and Hungary.
The Hungarian plant, located in Sirok, was rebranded as MFS Defense after the transaction. It traditionally produces .32 ACP, 9 mm, 9x18 Makarov and other European handgun favorites. Beretta Holding hasn’t announced whether a completely new factory will be built or the established factory will soon add 7.62 NATO and .50 BMG cartridges to its line.
The emphasis on bolstering defensive capabilities and domestic production began in Hungary more than a decade ago, although it’s accelerated significantly of late. In 2018, for example, CZ Group entered into an agreement that granted a license to a factory in Kiskunfélegyháza, Hungary, to manufacture CZ P-07s and CZ P-09s, as well as Bren 2 and Scorpion Evo3 A1 submachine guns.
In 2021 Colt’s Manufacturing was acquired by CZ Group and a year later another agreement was reached, allowing production of select Colt products in the country. Hungary’s improvement in domestic production isn’t limited to small arms, either. A variety of larger munitions are made there, including artillery rounds. The country is also scheduled to soon be making the popular Lynx and Gidrán military vehicles.