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Norinco Group

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Norinco Group


Note: For the ease of reading, uses of "Corporation" and "Limited" in company names in this text are abbreviated to "Co." and "Ltd.", even though they are officially spelt out in full.

The China North Industries Group Co. Ltd. (CNGC), doing business as Norinco Group, and known within China as China Ordnance Industries Group Co. Ltd. (Chinese: 中国兵器工业集团有限公司), is a Chinese state-run conglomerate primarily involved in the production of military ordnances, and secondarily in other industrial products such as vehicles, chemicals, or machinery. It is China's largest weapons manufacturer, producing military vehicles, artillery, and other military ordnance for both Chinese domestic use and export. Though most commonly associated with its cold war-era Soviet and to a lesser extent Western weapon knock-offs, the company now has its own range of locally-designed systems.

The company's predecessor was the China North Industries (Group) Co. (Norinco (G), Chinese: 中国北方工业(集团)总公司), known within China as China Ordnance Industry Co. (COIC, Chinese: 中国兵器工业总公司), a state-owned company founded in 1988 that oversaw China's ordnance industries. In 1999, COIC was divided into two entities, one was Norinco Group, and the other was the China South Industries Group (CSGC).

It is important to note that, generally speaking, most Chinese small arms are manufactured by subsidiaries of the China South Industries Group, not Norinco Group; Norinco Group subsidiaries generally manufacture heavy weapon systems like missiles and armored fighting vehicles. Many online secondary sources often misattribute Chinese small arms as being "manufactured by Norinco"; this confusion likely stems from the fact that Norinco is also the name of a Chinese export company (see below), which handles the international sale of most Chinese small arms regardless of manufacturer, and brands its exported products with its own name.

Norinco (export company)

Norinco (historical logo)
Norinco (current logo)

Norinco Group owns an identically-named (and technically older) subsidiary named China North Industries Co. Ltd., also known as simply Norinco, which handles the sale of Chinese equipment internationally. Founded in 1980 as the export arm of China's ordnance industry ministry, Norinco (G) and Norinco Group adopted the subsidiary's name as its international business name for the sake of name recognition.

As an export company, Norinco has no military manufacturing capabilities of its own. It merely exports small arms manufactured by other, actual Chinese manufacturers, and does not manufacture any anything itself. However, because small arms exported by Norinco are typically (historically almost always) re-branded as "Norinco" small arms, at times even being marked as "Manufactured by Norinco", this made it appear as if "Norinco" (or "Norinco Group") manufactured the weapon.

Norinco is jointly owned by Norinco Group and CSGC, and they have handled marketing for small arms made by CSGC subsidiaries (e.g. Changfeng, Jianshe, Huaqing) and other Chinese small arms makers (e.g. Hunan Ordnance Industries Group).

Modern Chinese small arms branded under Norinco typically feature names that start with "N".


Founded: 1980 (Norinco, export company), 1988 (Norinco (G)), 1999 (Norinco Group)

Country: China

Products: Rocket Launchers, Missile Systems



Weapon Caliber(s) Capacity Produced Variants Image
HJ-8 120mm 1 1984 - present HJ-8.jpg

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