IDEAS 2016: Pakistan Ordnance Factories and Česká Zbrojovka will begin talks on small arms (BREN 2?)
December 11, 2018
A CZ-806 BREN 2 during the rifle trials this past spring and summer (Pakistan Defence)

IDEAS 2016: Pakistan Ordnance Factories and Česká Zbrojovka will begin talks on small arms (BREN 2?)

Radio Pakistan reports that Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) signed a letter-of-understanding (LoU) with Česká Zbrojovka (CZ), the maker of the CZ-806 BREN 2 assault rifle, to “intensively negotiate [the] delivery of complete technology for the production of small arms [at] POF.”

If concluded, CZ’s product(s) will see a “gradual launching” in Pakistan, initially with “light assembly” and in time, “to maximum localization of production.” Complete transfer-of-technology and technical support, including training of personnel, is expected.

From Radio Pakistan:

The 3rd LOU was signed between POF and M/s. CeskaZbrojovka, Czech Republic. According to LOU M/s. CeskaZbrojovka, Czech Republic and Pakistan Ordnance Factories declared that they will intensively negotiate a delivery of complete technology for the production of small arms to Pakistan Ordnance Factories, POF. Mutual interest refers to gradual launching of production in Pakistan, ranging from light assembly to maximum localization of production. Within this cooperation, transfer of technology as well as technical support including technical training of the personnel for Pakistan Ordnance Factories is expected.

Notes & Comments:

The LoU signed with CZ is different from the MoUs POF signed with Czechoslovak Group (CSG) and Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa S.A (PGZ), which were final agreements.

The LoU is an intent to negotiate, potentially for the CZ-806 BREN 2, which was among the rifles evaluated for the Pakistan Army’s next-generation standard issue rifle program.

Although deployed with the Czech Army as 5.56x45mm, Pakistan was offered the 7.62x39mm variant of the BREN 2, which (until being shown at POF in March) was thought to have been available only on paper. CZ noted (p52) that a 7.62x51mm version is also under consideration.

Pakistan selecting the CZ-806 BREN 2 would not be surprising. Among the options studied, the BREN was, presumably, among the more affordable options (at least in comparison to the FN SCAR), especially if the intention was to issue the rifle to the entirety of the Pakistan Army’s regular infantry.

However, considering that it was the 7.62x39mm version that was evaluated, it is unclear if the BREN was being examined in relation to the 7.62x51mm G-3, for which the FN SCAR-H and Beretta ARX-200 were tagged as leading next-generation candidates. But if POF is seeking a production contract with CZ, it is possible that the Army has opted to shift the mainstay of its future rifle distribution to 7.62x39mm The fact that POF recently opened a production site for 7.62x39mm rounds suggests that 7.62x39mm will play a central role in the Army’s infantry doctrine. In this scenario, a 7.62x51mm rifle such as the SCAR could still be sought, but as a smaller off-the-shelf purchase (without a production element at POF).

If not the BREN, POF could be interested in CZ’s Scorpion line of submachine guns (SMG), which could be offered to the Pakistani and overseas market as a successor to the MP5. The CZ-75 line of pistols could also be an area of interest to POF. However, there have been no reports of POF seeking a SMG or pistol, much of CZ’s relevance at this point is related to the BREN.