(ANSA) – BELGRADE, 11 GIU – The Romanian company Uzina Mecanica Plopeni (UMP), controlled by the state-owned arms producer Romarm, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Beretta Holding for the production in Romania of the ARX 160 assault weapon, the Romanian ministry of Economy announced in statement on Monday. “It is an important moment, a strategic project” that will allow Romania to “produce at Popleni a modern weapon of last generation,” Romanian minister of Economy Niculae Badalau said. UMP will start producing the Beretta assault weapons within six months after establishing a joint venture company, the specialized portal SeeNews wrote. Romania will control 80% interest in the joint venture company through UMP, while the remainder will be held by Beretta Holding, SeeNews added, specifying that at the beginning 15% of the weapons’ components will be manufactured in Romania, but the percentage will increase in the future. According to SeeNews, Romarm is the main supplier of defence equipment in the country, and Romania is planning to spend up to 9.8 billion euro until 2026 to modernize and boost its defence capabilities. (ANSA).