Nigeria will locally manufacture Beryl assault rifles after signing an agreement with the Polish manufacturer. Nigeria has previously received two thousand Beryl assault rifles.
On 26 March the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ – Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa) holding company signed and Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) signed a letter of intent covering the production of Beryl M762 assault rifles in Nigeria, according to manufacturer Fabryka Broni.
PGZ president Jakub Skiba said the Nigerian military has been using the Beryl M762 for several years and has been happy with its performance. He said the agreement is a good opportunity for PGZ to further expand into Africa.
Under the deal, there will be three phases of technology transfer: initial assembly, partial manufacture and full production at the Ordnance Factory Complex in Kaduna, Nigeria.
Nigeria’s 2017 federal budget proposal allocates a sum of N364 million ($1 million) to establish a production line for the Beryl M762 assault rifle and NGN390 million for AK-47 assault rifle production. According to IHS Janes, the latter could be for the production of the OBJ-006 Kalashnikov derivative unveiled by DICON in 2006.
Nigeria received its first thousand Beryl assault rifles in February 2015 after a contract was signed between Fabryka Broni and the Nigerian Army in 2014. Another contract signed in 2015 covered 500 Beryl M762 and 10 Mini Beryl M556 assault rifles – these were delivered in June that year. In April 2017 another batch of Beryl M762 rifles was delivered covering 500 units for the Nigerian Air Force.
Nigeria’s 2016 budget proposal included provision for the purchase of 500 Beryl M762 rifles and 500 training replicas for the Nigerian Military Academy. According to Poland’s Military Magazine, deliveries will take place between March and April 2018.
The M762 is a 7.62×39 mm version of the Polish Army’s 5.56×45 mm Beryl M556 (wz. 96C) service rifle. It can use standard AK-47 magazines; has a single shot, thee-round burst and full automatic fire selector; a handguard with three Picatinny rails; another top-mounted Picatinny rail; a telescopic buttstock; and ergonomic grips. The weapon has a range of 600 metres.
The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) produces small arms and ammunition for the Nigerian Army and other security agencies, and has produced an assault rifle similar to the AK-47 in addition to developing 60 and 81 mm mortars. However, Nigeria still imports small arms – for instance, according to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, in 2013 Nigeria received 1 500 Serbian pistols and 2 270 Serbian light machineguns.