During a marketing demonstration to law-enforcement agencies (LEA) in Quetta, Baluchistan, a Česká zbrojovka (CZ) official confirmed the letter-of-understanding (LoU) CZ signed with Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) during IDEAS 2016, which took place in November 2016 in Karachi, Pakistan.
The official stated: “Recently we have [CZ] signed a letter-of-understanding with POF, and we are ready to transfer, the full transfer (sic) of modern technology from CZ to Pakistan, to POF, so we can produce the most modern and most advanced assault rifles in the world at POF.”
Under the LoU signed at IDEAS, POF and CZ agreed to “negotiate delivery of complete technology for the production of small arms … [with] gradual launching of production in Pakistan, ranging from light assembly to maximum localization.” It appears that CZ had a follow-up meeting with Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) at IDEX 2017, which took place in Abu Dhabi in February.
As part of its event in Quetta, CZ showcased the CZ-807 and/or CZ-806 BREN 2 assault rifle, Scorpion EVO 3 sub-machine gun, and P-series handguns. Pakistani officials affirmed their commitment to provide LEAs and the armed forces with modern weapons and systems to handle current and emerging security threats.
CZ is among several competitors bidding to secure Pakistan’s next-generation standard-issue assault and battle rifle programs. The Pakistan Army intends to gradually replace its Heckler & Koch G-3 7.62×51 mm battle rifles and NORINCO Type 56 7.62×39 mm assault rifles. FN Herstal and Beretta are also competing with the SCAR and ARX platforms, respectively. The Pakistani television network Samaa TV reported that the SCAR-H and Beretta ARX-200 were shortlisted to supplant the HK G-3.
The winner(s) of Pakistan’s small-arms requirements will see their products manufactured under license at POF. If finalized, these products will form a core component of POF’s next-generation product catalogue for domestic and overseas markets. This would be a significant program for all parties involved, especially since it would amount to large-scale production spanning decades and, potentially, exports to third-party markets such as the Arab Gulf and Sub-Saharan Africa.