“Vazovski Mashinostroitelni Zavodi” EAD – Sopot is the biggest state enterprise in the military and industrial complex in Republic of Bulgaria. It is 100% state owned – a guarantee for stability and support from the government entities. Founded in the year 1936 with its 84 years history, the company is internationally acknowledged leader in the production of ammunition for different types of weapon systems such as RPG, SPG, 122mm GRAD systems, classical artillery, aviation unguided rockets and others.
Currently VMZ is one of the biggest companies in Eastern Europe for the production of special products. The company combines in itself everything necessary for the design, development, provision of non-standard equipment, production of metal parts, filling and assembly. This completeness of the full production cycle guarantees very high quality and flexibility inherent solely to the highest class companies. The quality control system is certified in accordance with the requirements of international standard ISO 9001 and NATO standard AQAP 2110. VMZ has a full license for export, import and transfer of weapons.
At present, 7500 people are occupied in VMZ’s production, 4000 are the company employees and the remaining 3500 are employed as subcontractors.
Realizing the necessity for modernization of its production capabilities and constant development and enrichment of its production list, within 2016-2020 VMZ EAD has invested nearly 100 million USD into modernization of the production capabilities and establishment of modern state-of-the-art Department for Innovations and Development.
The production of wide variety of products is performed on the territory of three Production factories with total area of 3 560 000 sqkm. The Machining plant is specialized in the performance of all known metal processing followed by application of anti-corrosion coating. The facilities are specialized according to the types of machining and supplement one another in order to produce an item or assembly with its consequent transportation to Assembly plant. The assembly plant with its latest modernization in the area of Automation is specialized to perform pressing and screw extrusion with all types of explosives and pyrotechnic compositions, as well as to manufacture the required powder charges for the special production of the company with production capability around 80 000 – 150 000 pieces per month. The factory facilities are specialized in a manner to ensure and achieve maximum expedience, quality and safety during the production of components and final products. The non-standard tooling and equipment plant designs and produces all non-standard devices and accessories – integral part of the special production.
Key feature in VMZ’s development is the establishment of state-of-the-art Department “Innovations and developments” which is spread across 7000 sqm area and is engaged solely with the development of new items, improvement of the performance characteristics of all existing products and rendering assistance when a new items is introduced into production. The department consists of specialists with over 70 years of experience in development, adoption and transfer of technology in the area of ammunition from company’s production list. This fact, combined with the support of the government entities is а prerequisite for good cooperation concerning projects related to transfer and provision of know-how.
VMZ’s management consist of three-membered Board of Directors who have the authority to make quick decisions necessary for the development of the company, including decisions for Transfer of Technology, establishment of Joint Ventures, participation in consortiums under the aegis of European Defense Fund and others.
The state company presents exceptional services regarding individual Statements of work from End User and creates the most appropriate individual product corresponding to the respective client’s requirements. Many projects have been fulfilled using this approach, which makes VMZ an irreplaceable partner in the modernization of every army.
Thanks to its Department for “Innovations and Development” VMZ has created and is the only manufacturer of multiple items such as RPG round with 3km range, RPG round with wall-breaking effect, RPG round with tandem warhead and wall-breaking effect, Bulspike with three types of grenades, time and proximity fuzes for ammunition produced by VMZ and others.
The company has its own open proof ground where qualification tests are performed for all current products and projects in development. The availability of all aforementioned sections completes the full package of required capabilities for swift implementation of highly complicated projects.
VMZ’s production list is rich and many unique items can be found within, which are capable of satisfying the requirements of even the most exacting client: www.vmz.bg/продукция. Company’s portfolio includes:
- ammunition for RPG-7V /launcher and optical sights/;
- ammunition for SPG-9 /launcher and optical sights/ and 2A28 gun for BMP-1;
- ammunition for classical artillery;
- mortar bombs and mortars;
- anti-tank guided missiles;
- aviation unguided rockets;
- 122 mm rocket projectiles “GRAD”
– During its efforts to improve the performance characteristics of the existing products VMZ has developed a warhead with prefabricated fragments which, depending on the fragments used can provide twice the damaging effect against light armoured and armoured targets. Prototypes of proximity fuze have also been tested which will be introduced into serial production in 2020, and will enable detonation of the warhead at an optimal distance above the ground surface in order to guarantee maximum damage to the enemy. The fuze in combination with the new warhead increases the damaging effect and the performance characteristics of the “GRAD” rocket are vastly improved. VMZ EAD expressed its desire to work on future projects concerning this item for the Polish army;
- 125mm projectiles for D-31 gun
– VMZ operates with subcaliber projectile with tungsten core 125mm APFSDS-T (armour-piercing, fin-stabilised, discarding sabot with tracer) capable of defeating tank armor up to 460mm. VMZ EAD expressed its desire to work on future projects concerning this item for the Polish army;
- disposable grenade launchers
The last category of ammunition is particularly popular due to its universal purpose and the implemented concept for “self-sufficiency”, without the requirement of any additional training or equipment. This product includes rocket-propelled grenades equipped with thermobaric warhead /Bulspike-TB/; fragmentation warhead /Bulspike-AP/; anti-tank warhead /Bulspike-AT/.
Lately, the Bulgarian army has undertaken numerous initiatives for modernization of all types of armed forces. Each of these projects is related to transfer of technology to Bulgarian companies, which are specialized in certain production area. VMZ is one of those companies eligible to receive technology from potential supplier. These projects will be fulfilled and remain active within the upcoming 10 years. It is advisable for VMZ’s partners to take this into consideration with the purpose of establishing closer cooperation on such projects.
Written by Dr. Eng. Ivan Getsov
Managing Director and Member of the Board of Directors
1 Ivan Vazov Blvd., 4330 Sopot, Bulgaria
Phone/fax: +359 2 9805504