Ukraine will boost its arsenal with NATO-standard rifles through a Czech manufacturer

To boost its military capabilities, Ukraine’s defense industry has signed an agreement with Czech arms manufacturer Česká zbrojovka to produce domestic NATO-standard rifles.

Ukraine’s defense landscape is set for an upgrade as Ukroboronprom, the country’s defense conglomerate, has formalized a deal with Česká zbrojovka, a Czech arms manufacturer. The partnership aims to assemble CZ BREN 2 rifles, widely recognized for NATO specifications, within Ukraine’s borders, signaling a shift towards the modernization of the country’s armed forces.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ukroboronprom secures a license transfer agreement with Česká zbrojovka, allowing the domestic assembly of CZ BREN 2 rifles. This initiative marks a departure from traditional procurement routes, enabling the Ukraine to equip its army with firearms adapted to NATO standards.

The CZ BREN 2 model has been widely adopted by military and law enforcement agencies around the world, including the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Ukroboronprom director general Herman Smetanin hailed the partnership as a pivotal moment for Ukraine’s defense industry.

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Technology transfer from NATO member countries is an important moment for our company due to successful international cooperation and military defense reform. This initiative is an important step on the way to creating the arsenal of the free world in Ukraine,” Smetanin said.

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Echoing Smetanin’s sentiments, Jan Zaits, CEO of Česká zbrojovka, said the move would support Ukraine’s efforts to increase adoption of NATO-standard equipment.

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

The Czech government had a strong reaction to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, and public opinion turned strongly against Russia. GlobalData’s intelligence on Czech defense market underlines that the Czech Republic remains a major donor of aid to Ukraine, both military and otherwise.

In a plenary session on November 11, 2023, the Czech Senate renewed its mandate to provide military assistance and training to Ukraine, extending the stay of Ukrainian forces on Czech territory until December 31, 2024. The initiative aims to strengthen Ukrainian military capabilities and to allow the flow of Ukrainian personnel across Europe.

The CZ BREN 2 production technology transfer project was presented at the First International Forum of Defense Industries in Kyiv, signaling Ukraine’s commitment to modernization and self-sufficiency in defense production.

As Ukraine moves forward with plans to assemble NATO-standard rifles domestically, the partnership between Ukroboronprom and Česká zbrojovka heralds a new era of self-reliance in the country’s defense industry. With CZ BREN 2 rifles poised to bolster Ukraine’s operational capabilities, the partnership demonstrates a shared commitment to security and stability in the region.

Additional reporting by John Hill.

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