Army takes delivery of new Czech CZ BREN 2 PPS precision rifles
The first delivery of new CZ BREN 2 PPS precision rifles has been taken over by selected units of the Czech Army in recent days. The framework agreement for the delivery of up to 39,000 different types of small arms from Česká zbrojovka a. s. Uherský Brod was concluded in April 2020.
From the total number of 350 pieces, the Army will take over the first 242 pieces for the units of the 7th Mechanised Brigade, 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade, 43rd Airborne Regiment and 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion by the end of this week. It will receive the remaining 108 weapons by the end of this year.
According to Lubor Koudelka, deputy director of the Armaments and Acquisitions Section, the delivery of the weapons was carried out in accordance with the concluded contractual relationship within the set deadlines and in the required quality. According to him, the framework agreement guarantees the army continuous renewal and replenishment of weapons under favourable conditions.
Video: Receiving the new CZ BREN 2 PPS rifles | 43rd Airborne Regiment / YouTube
The weapon is designed for mechanised and airborne units to destroy point targets at ranges beyond the effective range of an assault rifle. It was developed based on the requirements of combat units and their operational experience. It replaces the SVD Dragunov and SVDN-3 Tiger self-loading sniper rifle in the Army's armament.
"The CZ BREN 2 PPS is a durable and robust weapon of the BREN design series that can withstand the harsh conditions of contemporary combat. It is not a sniper rifle, but a highly accurate infantry weapon that primarily complements the fire system of combat units with the ability to take out important enemy targets on the battlefield," explained Col. Zdeněk Mikula, Director of the Land Forces Development Department of the MoD.
The rifle is a 7.62 x 51 NATO self-loading rifle of top-notch parameters, with an overall length of 1,300 mm, barrel length of 457 mm, weight of 4.6 kg, range of 600-800 m and accuracy of 2 MOA (hitting a 360 mm diameter circle at a distance of 600 m).
The rifle is equipped with the latest generation of optics, allowing the destruction of targets at short, medium and long distances and conducting combat operations in day, night and low visibility. What makes it unique is that it is based on the UP CZ BREN 2 platform. It differs from the BREN 2 assault rifle in calibre, size, weight, effectiveness, accuracy and range, yet all the ergonomics, handling, cleaning, operation of the weapon, etc. are identical to all models belonging to this family. The development of this unique weapon lasted two years and involved a team of developers and designers from Česká zbrojovka a. s. Uherský Brod in cooperation with members of the Czech Army.
We asked the deputy commander of the 43rd Airborne Regiment in Chrudim, Lieutenant Colonel Ivo Zelinka, about the new rifles.
CZ BREN 2 PPS will replace SVDN-3 (Dragunov) in your armament. What do you see as the main advantages of this change?
Replacing the SVDN-3 Tiger sniper rifles for paratroopers and the SVD-1 Dragunov for most of the units of the Czech Armed Forces that still used them with a modern rifle for precision shooting is really a generational leap. Although the original concept of the Dragunov was a full-size, self-loading sniper rifle, it nevertheless dates back to the 1960s. Thus, it has been rendered largely technically, but mostly morally, obsolete. Not only is its accuracy no longer up to current requirements, but the designers of the time simply could not foresee the changed needs of the 21st century soldier.
Ironically, one of the main advantages of the BREN 2 PPS is one that the Dragunov rifles provided for many years but lost in the course of small arms modernization in the Army - the same caliber with the squad rifle. After the replacement of the vz. 59 machine guns in 7.62x54 calibre with modern Minimi 7.62x51 mm machine guns, the soldier with the Dragunov rifle was the last member of the squad using the Warsaw Pact 7.62x54 mm calibre. The ability to share ammunition within a squad in an emergency is very valuable.
What the BREN 2 PPS offers beyond the capabilities of the SVDN-3 is clearly accuracy. An effective range of 800 meters for most infantry targets is something that realistically exceeded the capabilities of the BREN 2 PPS's predecessor. This is especially crucial for paratroopers equipped with the shorter BREN 2 carbines with 11" barrels. These are optimized for airborne operations and fighting in built-up areas, but this is offset by their lower effective range. It is therefore essential that two of the six members of the airborne squad are equipped with 7.62x51 mm weapons, namely the machine gunner and the sharpshooter, with the ability to destroy infantry targets up to 800 metres.
The third advantage is clearly its modern concept, which stands out best in comparison with its morally outdated predecessor. The rifle uses the successful ergonomics of the BREN 2 assault rifle, which, among other things, will facilitate its emergency use by another member of the squad. At the same time, thanks to the MIL-STD-1913 mounting rails, it will allow the use of all the accessories available for assault rifles today, as well as those not yet introduced in the Army. This, along with the fact that the rifle has a 25-round magazine (compared to the 10-round magazine of its predecessor) and a top-of-the-line Night Force optic, makes it a weapon that will be competitive for many decades.
Did you have a chance to try out the new CZ BREN 2 PPS rifle before they were delivered and what was your first experience?
Yes, the members of the 43rd Airborne Regiment, especially the shooting instructors of the Combat Training Centre, were involved in the process of introducing the new precision rifles, especially the military trials, to the Army. Although it was a rather long and demanding process, the result, I think, fully justifies the effort that had to be made.
Will the new BRENs be intended for all 4 or 5 commandos (Active Reseve)?
The new rifles for precision shooting will be used by the 43rd Airborne Regiment, mainly by the sharpshooters of the airborne teams of the individual commandos, but not only by them. They will also find their use in the Combat Support Centre. For the snipers, they will become a complementary weapon to their DT SRS and DT HTI sniper rifles. For the scouts, on the other hand, they will be used as a standard weapon by some members of the reconnaissance groups.
Paratroopers of the 5th Commando (Active Reserve) will not be equipped with them at this stage, for now they will have to make do with the SVDN-3 Tiger. Of course, in the future we expect to standardize the rifles for precision shooting throughout the regiment, but for now they must reach all the units of the Czech Armed Forces that need them to perform their doctrinal tasks.
On behalf of Česká zbrojovka a.s. we asked Radek Hauerland, External Relations Manager.
How is the CZ BREN 2 PPS better for users compared to the competition?
The CZ BREN 2 PPS is the top representative of the BREN 2 family of weapons; all ergonomics, handling, cleaning, operation, etc. are identical to all models belonging to this family.
The CZ BREN 2 PPS is based on the CZ BREN 2 BR. It is designed for members of combat squads and teams to engage point targets at greater distances than a conventional assault rifle can reach. It is capable of performing various sniper tasks depending on the weapon configuration and the type of ammunition selected
Picture: The CZ BREN 2 PPS model is based on the CZ BREN 2 BR model. It is designed for members of combat platoons and squads to engage point targets at greater distances than a conventional assault rifle can reach. | Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic
The weapon's propulsion mechanism is provided by the extraction of powder gases from the barrel, which, after passing through a three-position gas regulator, push against the piston face. The piston, by a short backward movement, sets in motion the bolt carrier which carries the bolt itself. The bolt carrier unlocks the chamber, ensures the empty cartridge case is ejected and discharged, and then ejects the cartridge from the magazine, slides it into the chamber, and finally locks the chamber. The bolt carrier tensions the weapon's firing mechanism by moving the bolt backwards. By means of a gas regulator we can control the flow and quantity of gas flowing towards the piston, we can ensure the function of even a very dirty gun.
The CZ BREN 2 PPS is manufactured and supplied in 7.62 x 51 NATO calibre. It allows to adapt the control to shooters with a strong right or left hand. It has a cold-forged 18" barrel, a body machined from a single piece of aircraft duralumin, a trigger guard housing and other parts made of highly durable carbon fiber filled polymer, and a magazine for 10 or 25 rounds. Two interchangeable pistol grip backs in sizes S and M increase the comfort of the shooter's grip, and the pistol grip cavity contains a storage compartment for the things the soldier wants to carry. The polymer telescopic folding stock is typical for BREN 2, it is not a problem to replace it with another type of stock. When folded, the weapon has a compact size and can be easily transported. The gun is fitted with rails at 12, 6, 3 and 9 o'clock, the variability of using optics or any accessories is almost unlimited. The weight of the weapon is about 4.5 kg, the length is just over a meter with the stock extended.
The rifle has undergone rigorous testing under difficult conditions, such as low and high temperature shooting tests, sand and mud tests, malfunction shooting, accuracy, durability, etc. The gun is accurate and reliable, ergonomically friendly, durable, well made and simple
What foreign references do you have regarding the CZ BREN 2 PPS rifle?
Our general references from around the world for the whole CZ BREN 2 family of guns are very positive. They prove their reliability in different climatic conditions and territories of the globe. We have CZ BREN 2 weapons in about thirty countries on all continents except Antarctica.