Defense industry of Bulgaria

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Bulgaria is a NATO member country with a large indigenous defence industry. Most of its weaponry is of Soviet design, but with significantly improved performance. Bulgaria is ranked as a "medium" small arms exporter according to the Small Arms Survey.[1]


Despite having local arms factories, until 1944 Bulgaria relied mostly on imports to equip its military. Nevertheless, the Bulgarian defence industry was capable of producing training and light attack aircraft, such as the DAR-10 and Laz-7. After the installment of a Communist government the same year, the country started a process of massive industrialization, but continued to import equipment. By the 1980s a large part of the equipment came from local suppliers. In the late 1980s exports reached about $800 mln. annually, trade partners being mostly Egypt, Algeria, Angola, North Korea, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Cuba and Vietnam.



Small arms[edit]

  • AR series - AR-M1 assault rifle and others. The basic AR-M1 is chambered in 5.45x39 mm, has a 600 rpm rate of fire, 900 m/s muzzle velocity, nearly 600 g lighter than the original AK-74 (loaded weight), somewhat more durable, a rail for an optical or reflex sights.
  • AKS-74u assault rifle
  • Arsenal Shipka submachine gun
  • LMG light machine gun
  • MG-M1 general purpose machine gun
  • Arcus 98DA pistol
  • Makarov PM pistol


Air defence equipment[edit]

Anti-tank weapons[edit]

Armored vehicles[edit]

A Bulgarian-made MT-LB used by the USMC
  • MT-LB in different versions
  • BMP-23
  • BTR-60:
  • BTR-60PAU - Artillery command variant of the BTR-60PA with 4 whip antennas.
  • BTR-60PB with Polish WAT turret from SKOT-2AP. Only a prototype was made.
  • BTR-60PB-MD (bronyetransport’or moderniziran) - BTR-60PB upgraded with VAMO DT3900 or Rover TD-200 diesel engine, four MB smoke grenade dischargers on the turret (two on each side), "Melopa" night sight, new day sight, new NBC protection system and modern radios. It also has a rear view mirror on the left hand side of the hull. Only a prototype was made.
    • BTR-60PB-MD1 - Version for the Bulgarian army, powered by a Cummins ISB 25.30 turbocharged Euro 3 diesel engine of 250 hp and fitted with side hatches. About 150 in service.
    • BTR-60PB-MD3 - export model, fitted with a KamAZ diesel engine, different sights and eight additional smoke grenade launchers in the front right corner of the hull. The prototype, shown in 2004, was based on a BTR-60PA.

Missiles and rockets[edit]





  1. ^ Small Arms Survey 2011: States of Security. Oxford University Press. 2011. p. 3. 
  2. ^ "ARSENAL Home Page". Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  3. ^ "ТЕРЕМ - Българските военноремонтни заводи". Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  4. ^ "VMZ Co". Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  5. ^ "Samel 90". Samel 90. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b ""Ер Франс" закарала БГ картечници в Конго". Retrieved 2011-08-08. 

External links[edit]