Czech Republic Eyes Transfer to Ukraine of Bren 2 Assault Rifles and Ammunition Production Line

Kyiv, Ukraine, October 1, 2023 - In a significant move that underscores the deepening defense ties between the Czech Republic and Ukraine, the Czech Ministry of Defense announced on September 29, 2023, the possible transfer of the production lines of Czech-made Bren 2 assault rifles and small-caliber ammunition to Ukraine. The announcement was made during the inaugural Ukrainian "International Defense Industries Forum" held in Kyiv.
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The Bren 2 is an assault rifle designed and produced by the Czech company CZ Česká zbrojovka. (Picture source CZ)

The Czech Republic has announced the possible transfer of the production of the Bren 2 assault rifle from the renowned Česká zbrojovka company. Additionally, the production line for small-caliber ammunition from the esteemed Sellier&Bellot Company will also be relocated to Ukraine. The specifics of the transfer, including the location of the new production facilities in Ukraine and the timeline for the move, have yet to be disclosed.

The forum, presided over by Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, was inaugurated by President Volodymyr Zelensky. The event kicked off with an introductory panel graced by top political figures, setting the tone for the subsequent discussions. Five thematic panels delved into various aspects of the defense industry, with a particular emphasis on the challenges posed by the Russian invasion. Topics ranged from ammunition production and ground technology to the exploration of new disruptive technologies that could reshape the future of defense.

The forum witnessed an impressive international turnout, with 41 foreign government representatives and 252 foreign companies from 30 countries worldwide converging in Kyiv. The event not only highlighted Ukraine's growing stature in the global defense industry but also showcased the nation's resilience and determination in the face of adversity.

The transfer of production lines from the Czech Republic to Ukraine is seen as a testament to the strengthening defense and strategic partnership between the two nations. As the global defense landscape continues to evolve, collaborations like these will play a pivotal role in ensuring regional stability and security.

The CZ BREN 2, an improved and lighter variant of the original CZ 805 BREN, was introduced by CZUB in October 2015. The design incorporated several enhancements based on feedback from users, including significant ergonomic improvements and functional adjustments. By January 2016, the Czech Army had signed contracts with CZUB for the procurement of 2,600 CZ BREN 2 rifles. The CZ BREN 2 is a modular assault rifle that builds upon the original CZ 805 BREN design, offering the capability to quickly change calibers and providing users with a more versatile weapon platform.

The Bren 2 is available in a variety of calibers, notably the 5.56×45mm NATO and 7.62×39mm, allowing it to be adapted to specific operational needs. One of its most notable features is its high degree of modularity, which facilitates easy swapping of barrels, handguards, and other components. This adaptability ensures the weapon can be tailored for different mission profiles. In addition to its modularity, the Bren 2 has been designed to be significantly lighter than the CZ 805 Bren, achieved through the use of advanced materials and a streamlined design.

The Bren 2 assault rifle also boasts improved ergonomics, with an enhanced grip angle, a conveniently positioned manual safety, and an ambidextrous bolt release, all of which contribute to its user-friendly nature. Renowned for its reliability, the Bren 2 performs effectively in a range of challenging environments, whether dusty, muddy, or wet. Beyond its military applications, the rifle has garnered interest from various countries and has been adopted or tested by several global armed forces.

Defense News October 2023