Ukraine, Czech Company to Locally Assemble NATO-Standard Rifles

The Ukrainian Defence Industry (Ukroboronprom) has signed an agreement with Czech company Colt CZ Group to locally assemble NATO-standard rifles for Kyiv’s warfighters.

The contract will see a license transfer of Colt CZ’s necessary production processes permitting the Ukrainian state-owned company to manufacture covered armaments, including CZ BREN 2 battle rifles, in Ukraine.

“The technology transfer from NATO member states marks a pivotal moment for our company, driven by successful international cooperation and ongoing defense reforms,” Ukroboronprom CEO Herman Smetanin said.

‘Proven NATO Firearm’

Kyiv said the collaboration was initiated to bolster the armed forces’ operational capabilities by equipping them “with a proven, high-quality standard NATO firearm.”

Work for the program will be performed by Colt CZ firearms subsidiary Česká Zbrojovka.

“We are honored to support Ukraine’s efforts to adopt NATO standard equipment and increase the capability of its defense industry,” Česká Zbrojovka CEO Jan Zajíc stated.

“This first step towards a full-scale transfer of technology project for the CZ BREN 2 rifle is a direct consequence of its successful deployment on the battlefield in Ukraine by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.”

CZ BREN 2 Rifle

The CZ BREN 2 series offers modular guns made of iron and aluminum alloy. Each is adjustable depending on user requirements.

Out of its nine variants, four rifles under the product line are designed with NATO compatibility.

CZ BREN 2 weapons with alliance-standard calibers range from 7.62 x 51mm to 5.56 x 45mm, have a barrel length of 280 mm to 407 mm, and a magazine capacity of up to 30 shells.

Colt CZ highlighted that similar rifles are currently used across the Czech Republic’s armed forces, the French and Romanian national counter-terrorist units, the Polish Border Guard, and the Portuguese Army.

A Czech soldier from 1st Czech Military Advisory Team (MAT) aims his Bren 805 rifle during a MAT and police advisory team (PAT) training exercise at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, Sept. 18, 2012. This exercise is designed to replicate the Afghanistan operational environment in order to prepare MATs and PATs for counterinsurgency operations with the ability to train, advise and enable the Afghanistan National Army and the Afghanistan National Police.
A Czech soldier fires BREN rifle during a military training in Germany. Photo: Spc. William Livingston/US Army

First International Defence Industry Forum

Ukroboronprom wrote that the technology transfer was revealed during the First International Defence Industry Forum (DFNC1) in September 2023.

Held in Kyiv, the meeting brought a consortium of around 250 companies from over 30 countries to plan the production of a full range of military equipment for Ukraine.

DFNC1 concluded with 38 companies from 19 nations joining the Ukrainian Defence Industries Alliance. Other bilateral and multilateral partnerships were discussed during the forum, Ukroboronprom noted.

“The defense industry is one of the key components of the development of the Ukrainian economy,” a statement from the Ukrainian government said.

“Within the framework of the Forum, the Ukrainian side signed 20 documents with foreign partners. These are agreements and memorandums on the manufacture of drones, repair and production of armored vehicles and ammunition.”

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