Russia is planning to build a factory to manufacture bullets for AK-47 rifles in Cuba, according to Russian officials.
The head of the country’s Military Cooperation Federation, Konstantin Biriulin, told press that the materials to make the factory had been transported to Cuba some years ago, though he did not give a timescale for the opening of the facility, or its capacity, according to reports.
Russia has launched a similar scheme in Venezuela, announcing plans in 2010 to open a factory to manufacture AK-103 rifles and ammunition. The factory is reportedly set to begin production in 2012. It was originally due to open in March 2011, suggesting that the Cuban factory might take a similarly long time to get off the ground.
As the weapon of choice of many criminal groups and insurgencies, the Kalashnikov rifles and ammo to be produced in Cuba and Venezuela could be a dangerous addition to the supply of arms in the region.