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FAMAE Fábricas y Maestranzas del Ejército

FAMAE (Factories and Armouries of the Chilean Army) is a company with 200 years contributing to the defence industry and innovating in technology. Adding local value to the Defence has been the mission that FAMAE has fulfilled since 1811, through manufacture of several products of small armament, ammunitions, pyrotechnics, rockets and missiles, among others. The Fundamental Law DFL Nº223 of 1953 constitutes FAMAE as a corporate and public legal entity with an own juridical status, self managing and own wealth. According to the law, it is related to the Supreme Government through the National Defence Ministry and it is supervised by a Superior Council.

Today, FAMAE has displayed a series of services and solutions for Defence that allows us to become “the main technological platform for meeting the new demands of our Army”, especially in the maintenance service area, because this is the effort that has more impact in the operationality and availability of the Armed Forces. This is how FAMAE has Industrial Maintenance Centres, with specialized staff and enough technology to plan the services, considering the life cycle of the material and enough supported by statistical substratum that allow the better level of certainty. FAMAE is addressed to the research and innovation of products development for adding greater local value to them, as well to guarantee an international level quality with ISO 9001-2008 Certification. Thus, FAMAE has full ability to offer solutions in different fields to the Defence world.

Chile's major producer of ground-defense matériel, the Army Factories and Yards (Fábricas y Maestranzas del Ejército--Famae), is subordinate to the army's Military Industry and Engineering Command (Comando de Industria Militar e Ingeniería-- CIMI). Famae employed about 3,000 people in the early 1990s in factories throughout the country and is in charge of maintaining and renewing the army's equipment.

On 08 October 1811, the National Congress commissioned legislator Francisco Ramon Vicuña, the organization of a factory for manufacture and repair of Patriot Army’s weapons. From 1815 to 1820 Army’s Chaplain Fray Luis Beltran y Bustos became Director of the Weapons Factory. He was well-known because his love of Physics and Chemistry and also for his grasp of all the manual arts. In 1882 the construction of new plants in Av. Manuel Montt was finished and FAMAE stayed there definitively. Electric energy was implemented in the factories in 1901, being pioneers in South America.

FAMAE obtained legal status in 1924, which allowed it to manufacture and commercialize all kind of machinery, tools and goods of its own production, without affecting its functions as military factory. In 1951 it launched the first washing machine to the national market. Organic Law DFL Nº233 was decreed in 1953 and it constitutes FAMAE in a corporate and public legal entity with an own juridical status, autonomous management and own assets and patrimony.

Since the 1960s, Famae has assembled both the Belgian FN FAL rifle and its close-support version, the FN FAP, locally known as the FN FALO. Research of rocket manufacturing began in 1983. Consolidation of its industrial and technical capabilities for development of rocket artillery systems and related products began in 1992, by means of the starting of HTPB propellant production, filled of motors and rocket assembly.

Subsequently, Famae also produced under license the Swiss SG542 assault rifle, which was replacing the SG-510 in service with the army. In addition, Famae is producing both a .32-caliber revolver and a 9mm submachine gun, together with 60mm, 81mm, and 120mm mortars, based on Brandt prototypes. An agreement with Britain's Royal Ordnance, signed in December 1989, provides for the joint development of the Rayo 160mm multiple-rocket launcher system, beginning in 1994. The Rayo was tested successfully in October 1991.

Famae produces ammunition for all these weapons, as well as hand grenades, Bangalore torpedoes, two types of antipersonnel mines, and an antitank mine, together with ammunition for the Oto Melara Model 56 105mm howitzer. Two types of antipersonnel bombs, two types of high-explosive aerial bombs, and one type of cluster bomb also have been developed, in conjunction with the FACh. These have been exported to Ecuador and Paraguay. Exports to Iran, Pakistan, and elsewhere also have been rumored. The revelation of contraband arms sales to Croatia via Hungary at the end of 1991 caused a minor political scandal early in 1992.

A new development beginning in early 1992 was the production of armored vehicles. Famae acquired a license to assemble the Swiss Mowag Piranha 8x8 APC. Prototype variations mounting either the Cockerrill 90mm or the Israeli HVMS 60mm high-velocity gun also have been produced. In 1992 Famae negotiated for the local manufacture of the Cadillac-Gage Stingray light tank. In early 1993, General Pinochet headed an official delegation that visited China. During the visit, an important agreement on military cooperation and coproduction of military equipment was signed between Famae and China's Northern Industrial Corporation (Norinco).

After 120 years in emblematic facilities of Av. Pedro Montt, FAMAE moved to Talagante city in 2002. Commander in Chief of the Chilean Army gave the responsibility of the maintenance and logistical support of the recently created Armoured Brigade to FAMAE in 2006. The following year saw the inauguration of the first FAMAE’s Industrial Maintenance Centre in Pozo Almonte, located in 2nd Armoured Brigade “Cazadores”, Tarapacá. The year 2008 winessed the inauguration of FAMAE’s Industrial Maintenance Centre in Arica, located in 1st Armoured Brigade “Coraceros”, Arica y Parinacota Region. Inauguration of FAMAE’s Industrial Maintenance Centre in Talagante. Modernization Single Based Gunpowder Plant began in 2010, and the Industrial Maintenance Center FAMAE became operational in Antofagasta.

By 2012 assault rifles - SG 542 -1 CAL. 7,62 mm / SG 540 -1 CAL 5,56 mm / SG 543 -1 CAL. 5,56 mm - are a line product of FAMAE. Quality and precision levels applied make FAMAE’s rifles very accurate and reliable, which allow the interchange of its parts. All versions can be supplied with fixed or folding stock. They work on gas intake system, allowing them to be adjusted for extremely dirty conditions. They bear a 3-shot burst device and a rear retainer system behind the bolt with the last round fired from the magazine. ACCESSORIES: They allow the incorporation of Picatinny style rail for mounting additional accessories, bipod, bayonet and / or support for special vision and aiming devices.

SAF FAMAE submachine guns - SAF FAMAE - Mini SAF – Silent SAF - MT CAL 40 MM. - SAF 200 - are an own development of FAMAE and they are manufactured under strict standards of quality. Characterized by their high level if reliability and accuracy. New version SAF 200 is the innovator answer to challenges of 21th century, reflecting on them an extensive experience and solid knowledge of applied engineering. It is an efficient weapon, versatile and with excellent ballistic abilities. Its modern and ergonometric design meets the exigent needs of the combatant, allowing and efficient, precise and comfortable shot, highlighting its resistance under use.

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Page last modified: 06-12-2012 13:32:54 ZULU