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Field cannon B1Crvena Zastava Works

Kragujevac and the Military-Technical Works were freed on October 21,1944. Military-Technical Works were completely destroyed during the World War II.

Military-Technical Works started to work on October 26. Of 12,000 employees that the factory had before the war, 670 returned to the factory. Sub-machinegun in calibre 9 mm M 1944 B2 was produced during the same year.

On March 16, 1945, after a century, the production of ammunition was moved from Kragujevac by the decision of State Management of People's Property. This was the beginning of the process of moving of staff and equipment from the Military-Technical Works to other parts of Yugoslavia, with the intention to help the development of the whole country, because in those days the factory had largest capacities of professional staff and technology and in that way it became the nursery-garden of Yugoslavian industry.

PA 20mm M51On July 20, Military-Technical Works came under the authority of the Ministry of Defense and changed the name to the Arms Factory of Brigades of Yugoslavian partisans (NOVJ) (On March 1, 1945 this name changed into Military-Technical Workshops and on July 28 into Military-Technical Works "October 21st"). Many workshops were repaired during the same year.

In January 1946, the factory was given a new name - company Crvena Zastava.

Complete reconstruction of the factory was finished in 1948. The prototype of the field cannon B1 was made during the same year.


 7,9 mm M42 SaracThe documentation for military rifle M48 was completed in 1949. In the following year the factory started to make prototype of anti-aircraft cannon  20 mm and manual rocket launcher RB. The moving of equipment and staff continued with the movement of department for optics with 50 experts to Sarajevo. In this period, the factory made prototypes and test batches of the following guns: cannon TTA 85 mm (for first 5 Yugoslavian tanks), BT – recoiless cannon 82 mm (first Yugoslavian gun with reactive ejection of projectile), BB3 – launcher 120 mm, SH1- howitzer in calibre 105 mm and reactive projectile launcher with cumulative charge S49 for combat against tanks at small distances.

Testing of  7,9 mm M42 SaracIn 1951 in Paris, the representatives of State Secretarial of National Defense and Hispano Suiza SA signed a contract on purchase of licence for three automatic devices for Hispano Suiza HS804 20 mm L170 on traction gun carriage HSS 630-3. The development of these items was entrusted to company Crvena Zastava. Batch production of sub-machinegun M49 7,62 mm started during the same year.

At the end of 1951, the production of field cannon B1 was moved to Travnik, and in the following year the complete artillery program (calibers over 20 mm) was also moved, as well as 250 experts. 

Batch production of the knife for rifle M48 started. The production of air rifles and sporting rifles on the basis of rifle M48 started in 1953. Nevertheless, all this is not sufficient to empoly all the capacities that were left unused due to constant  transfer of production programs. In referendum, a decision was made to invest 100,000,000 dinars for the development of production of light light passenger and commercial vehicles. Later, independent factory Zastava cars was founded out of this part of the factory.

Rifle PAP M59At the same time, basic program was developed as well and in 1953 the factory started the production of rifles M48 applying the technology of pressed sheet metal.

In 1954 the factory started the production of shotguns and small bore rifles, as well as machine gun  7,9 mm M42 ¨Sarac¨. 

During 1959 the factory bought machines for cold forging of barrels. By introducing these machines into the production process, Zastava oruzje became a pioneer in production of barrels by this method.

On June 1, 1962, by the integration with company 21. maj Beograd, Crvena Zastava Works were created and military factory becomes Factory for special purpose production. 

Batch production of semi-automatic rifle PAP M59 7,26x39 mm started in1964.

In 1964 the fatory establishes independent development of the design of products (until then, the development of the design of products was done solely in Military-Technical Institute in Belgrade).

During the same year, the factory started the development of automatic rifle, of Kalashnikov system, which was named M67 in 1967.

In 1969, the factory signed the contract with company Galileo Avionica S.p.A, (part of system Oerlikon Contraves S.p.A, Milan) on the purchase of licence for fire control device P36, with domestic name J171.

On the basis of rifle M67, the factory developed automatic rifle in caliber 7.62x39 mm, which was named M70 in the following year.

Yugoslavian National Army accepted automatic rifle M70 in 1970.