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France’s GIGN orders CZ-806 BREN 2 in 7.62 x 39 mm

The French National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN) ordered Česká zbrojovka (CZ) CZ-806 BREN 2 assault rifles chambered in 7.62x39mm.

As per Shephard Media, GIGN signed onto an initial allotment of 68 rifles, but it is expected to order more to gradually supplant its Heckler & Koch (HK) HK-416.

The GIGN selected a compact version of the CZ-806 with a nine-inch barrel. It will have Picatinny rails for accessories, such as optics and a forward vertical grip.

Since GIGN is France’s elite law-enforcement entity, CZ believes gives the selection provides the BREN a strong “reference” for further sales, especially in new markets. CZ is currently marketing the CZ-807, Scorpion EVO 3 and P-series pistols to Pakistan, sales to whom would generate significant long-term sales.

However, another important aspect to the GIGN selection is the entry of a 7.62x39mm assault rifle in French law-enforcement services. GIGN sought a larger round – with higher stopping power –  to address the challenge of terrorists wearing body-armour, which mitigated the utility of 5.56 mm rounds.

The CZ-806 BREN 2 is an improved version of the CZ-805 BREN, which was introduced in 2009 with the Czech Army. In 2015, CZ introduced the BREN 2, which incorporated improvements to ergonomics (e.g. a new foldable stock) and reduced weight.

In parallel, CZ is also offering the BREN-based CZ-807, which it had originally designed for the Indian Army as a modular rifle that can be chambered for 7.62x39mm and 5.56x45mm. Since then, CZ incorporated several of the BREN 2’s features into the CZ-807, most noticeably the new foldable-stock.