Army buys CZ 805 BREN airsoft rifles for CQB training

 19. 07. 2022      category: Army of the Czech Republic
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Airsoft guns have their application in many armies (including the Czech Armed Forces) alongside sophisticated military shooting simulators, where soldiers can practice various established procedures in training, virtually without risk. That is why the Ministry of Defence has recently issued a tender for the purchase of additional CZ 805 BREN airsoft guns with accessories, this time for the purpose of maintaining close-range combat skills and their further improvement among instructors providing CQB training to subordinate elements of the 72nd Mechanised Battalion. As mentioned above, this is far from the first purchase of airsoft weapons. Our soldiers have been using them in training for several years.

asbrenPicture: Airsoft guns, alongside sophisticated military shooting simulators, are used in many armies (including the Czech Armed Forces), where soldiers can practise various established procedures as part of their training, with virtually no risk. | CASF

CQB (Close Quarters Battle) is a method of combat used by armies and special forces in confined spaces and at close range. The first references to this type of combat appear in the late 1970s, when British SAS special forces began training in a specially adapted building with terrorists and hostages inside. Gradually, other counter-terrorism units began to adopt this style of training. Today, CQB is a common part of the Czech Army's tactics. There is no room for error in the narrow corridors, dark stairwells and many nooks and crannies. It's not just the enemy; soldiers may be lurking with planted explosive devices, and civilians may be hiding here as well. The main task of the soldiers within the CQB is to search, occupy and secure the area. Fighting in built-up areas, even at close range, is different from normal open space combat, requiring true unit cohesion. Any shortcoming of an individual will immediately affect the outcome. Hundreds of hours of joint training are a prerequisite for success. The demands on training also increase with the size of the training unit.

Specialised training centres are used for CQB training. In the Czech Republic, for example, the Jeseník training area in the military training ground Březina, which focuses on infantry unit tactics up to the squad level and can train both CQB and FIBUA (Fighting in Build Up Areas). In Libava, the soldiers use Kozlov - a well-preserved complex of buildings still left over from the Soviet army. In the context of foreign training grounds, let's mention for example Lesht in Slovakia, where there is a European-type city block, a Middle Eastern village, shooting halls, a moto hall, a high prefabricated and a ground-floor building. Also interesting is the training area in Hohenfels, Germany, where an American training center near the western border of the Czech Republic offered faithful imitations of Afghan villages for training in built-up area combat, which was ideal for our soldiers who were facing a mission in Afghanistan.

Within the CQB, training can then take place using real (live) weapons, live ammunition and sometimes explosives can be used (e.g. at the Slovak training ground Lešt'). In addition, live weapons are used in training with the use of dummy rounds and imitation explosives. Soldiers can also use various military shooting simulators, e.g. MILES (the tactical combat simulator from SAAB is used in the Czech Armed Forces).

Airsoft guns are an ideal means of training for combat in built-up areas, where a soldier can actually feel the impact of a shot from a gun (a plastic airsoft ball) on his own skin, but without the risk of major injury (at most it is a scratch). Training with the use of airsoft weapons is not only intensive, but also very realistic, which is the reason why the 72nd Mechanized Battalion now purchases airsoft rifles that faithfully replicate the CZ 805 BREN assault rifles introduced in the Czech Army.

Specifically, the Army requires CZ 805 BREN airsoft guns equipped with MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor) and allowing the use of standard M4 series rifle magazines.

The weight of the weapon should be up to 3500 grams, i.e. it should match as much as possible the weight of the CZ 805 BREN assault rifle, which weighs 3580 grams at the base. The length of the weapon should then be up to 930 mm, which again corresponds to the dimensions of a real weapon. The service life of the airsoft gun should be at least 30 000 shots and the muzzle velocity with 0,2 g bullets should be up to 130 m/s.

From the above parameters it is evident that the simulation of a real, actual weapon is very accurate indeed. Not to forget about safety, a mesh protective mask with a moldable frame protecting the nose, mouth and cheeks and allowing to wear goggles is also included in the purchase. Of course, there are then the batteries that power the gun and tens of thousands of airsoft pellets. The total value of the purchase is expected to be CZK 650,000 including VAT.