Ero: The Croatian Uzi (With Israeli Help?)

The best of the submachine guns made in Croatia during the Homeland War was the Ero, made by a company called Arma. The Ero is a basically perfect, parts-interchangeable copy of the Israeli Uzi that was developed in 1992 and adopted into Croatian Army service in 1993. The only really distinguishable difference between the Ero and Uzi is the Ero’s use of Croatian-language selector markings (and receiver markings). Between 15,000 and 20,000 were produced, and they remained in service long after Croatian independence was secured. They were issued to vehicle crews, military police, special forces, and reconnaissance units.

Arma was a subsidiary of a major Croatian engineering firm, and after the Ero production it developed the APS-95 Croatian AK (which is a story for another video). They were a very competent company, but the details and quality of the Ero are so good that I believe it must have been made with tacit or explicit assistance from Israel. Croatia does have a strong Jewish community, and there were rumors during the war that the technical data package for the Uzi did find its way into Croatia. There is no official acknowledgement of this happening, but it would certainly not be hard to believe. But however the development happened, the result was a very high quality submachine gun.

A big thanks to the Croatian Police Museum (Muzej Policije) in Zagreb for giving me access to film this cool piece for you! Check them out at:


  1. South Africa and not Israel were responsible for these Uzis being manufactured in Croatia as well as the R4s which were reworked into APS-95s. I read about that years ago cant recall were though. It was documented though.

  2. Ero is completely reverse-engineered submachine gun from scratch, with no foreign assistance, the least of israelis,
    as the jewish community of the former Yugoslavia was by 1990s very small, and none of them were involved in anything related to arms manufacturing, or had big influence on war input, nor were they willing to actively participate (like in acquiring arms abroad).
    As opposed to some small, almost garage like developments, technical base and know how of engineering firms like Končar (made fridges and such) was that making stamping tools for uzi production was not out of their league.

    Were there any unknown shady industrial espionage deals with some world or european manufacturors (like FN, or from south africa), it is even 30 years after the war, still not known or disclosed.

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