The indigenously designed and manufactured CZ 805 BREN assault rifle which was recently accepted into service with the Czech Republic’s defence forces has justifiably been receiving a fair amount of attention and accolades. Now the Czech’s have announced plans to upgrade their entire inventory of personal weapons.
The Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic plans to buy approximately ten thousand CZ 805 BREN assault rifles, seven thousand CZ 75 PHANTOM pistols and 500 CZ SCORPION sub-machine guns during next several years. According to Colonel Pavel Bulant, Director of the Armaments Division of MoD, this quantity should cover the needs of all elements of Czech armed forces.
The total cost will exceed a billion Czech Crowns and the purchase is to be made through the framework of a long-term agreement. “Because the ministry is unable to expend this entire amount at one time, the project will be phased over several years. Based on the money available, we will buy a certain number of arms,” Bulant confirms. The next purchase of several thousand pieces should be started in 2014. “The delivery of almost 8,000 assault rifles is now in process and will be closed the next year, so we think to start the further phase of the purchase in the subsequent year,“ Bulant explains.
BREN rifles, PHANTOM pistols and SCORPION sub-machine guns have already been introduced into some units recently, and Czech soldiers have been using them both at home and on foreign missions.
As recently as five years ago, the Czech military was equipped with 18 kinds of small arms, including 70 types of cartridges in 11 various calibres. That status brought problems in procurement, funding, training and the complicated logistics. The new small arms in unified calibres will make the logistics simpler and less expensive in future.