A time-honored tradition: Celebrating 700 years of gunpowder production in Granada

 09. 06. 2024      Category: Ground forces

In the historic city of Granada, Spain, the continuous production of gunpowder has reached an incredible milestone of 700 years. This unique historical achievement was commemorated on May 31st by Fábrica de Municiones de Granada (FMG), the standard-bearer of this age-old tradition. Even after seven centuries, FMG continues to produce gunpowder, a testament to its enduring legacy.

Snímek obrazovky 2024-06-08 v 21.22.25
Picture: Production of tank amo in Fábrica De Municiones De Granada | CSG

The origins of gunpowder in Granada

The first documented use of gunpowder made in Granada dates back to the 14th century during the reign of the Nasrid dynasty. In 1324, Sultan Ismail I of Granada utilized local gunpowder in the siege of the city of Huéscar. This event is deeply intertwined with the origins of FMG, which has remained within the boundaries of Granada since its inception. Since the 16th century, the company has been based in the suburb of El Fargue.

FMG: A pillar of stability and innovation

Throughout its history, FMG has been a significant and stable employer not only in Granada and Andalusia but across Spain. Noted Spanish historian Francisco Gonzalez Arroyo highlights that FMG operated its own school that nurtured generations of skilled craftsmen, chemists, mechanics, and designers. Many employees, including the current CEO Antonio Caro Chena, have spent their entire careers at FMG. Starting as an intern in 1984, Chena has risen through the ranks to become the general manager in 2007.

Strategic partnerships and expansion

In 2020, FMG began a new chapter under the ownership of MSM Group, a Slovakian arm of the Czechoslovak Group (CSG). MSM Group acquired FMG from the European subsidiary of General Dynamics, GDELS, enhancing its economic performance and expanding its production capabilities. Last year, new facilities for gunpowder filling were launched, significantly boosting its annual output.

A diverse product portfolio

Today, FMG is a prominent manufacturer of both single and double-component gunpowders, tank ammunition, and various calibers of artillery and mortar munitions. It regularly showcases its products at global trade fairs and is a key supplier of 120mm tank ammunition for the Spanish Army's Leopard 2 tanks.

Snímek obrazovky 2024-06-08 v 21.22.20
Picture: Production of tank amo in Fábrica De Municiones De Granada | CSG

Celebrating a legacy

The 700th anniversary celebrations of gunpowder production were held on May 31, 2024, featuring a program rich in Andalusian traditions linked to FMG's rich history. High-ranking officials from the Spanish and Slovakian defense ministries were in attendance.

Looking to the future

Under the strategic guidance of MSM Group, FMG continues to honor the work of generations past while preparing for a sustainable future. "FMG is a unique entity in Europe, combining its own gunpowder production with a wide range of large-caliber ammunition under one roof," says Pavol Čahoj, Director of Strategic Development at MSM Group.

As FMG strides into the future, it remains a beacon of industrial heritage and innovation, proving that even after seven centuries, the flames of tradition and progress burn as bright as ever in Granada.

 Author: Michal Fencl