For those who know - CZ
The quiet rise of military suppliers in Eastern Europe has been an occurring theme of discussions in the industry, but many good products and innovative solutions remain hidden from the worldwide markets. One supplier certainly not doing that is the Czech weapons supplier Česká zbrojovka (CZ), ranked as the 22nd highest exporter in the Czech Republic and rising up this list every year. CZ supply weapons into over 90 countries worldwide, so the main question is why are many leading militaries and NATO troops selecting their products, Soldier Modernisation takes a look.
In 1936 an arms factory was built in Uherský Brod, as part of the strategic moving of important manufacturing away from the German-threatened Czech Western Borders, it was one of the most modern factories globally at the time. Post war through to mid 1970s the company was most known for manufacturing machine guns; notable ones include the vz. 58 caliber 7.62 × 39 mm submachine gun in the 1940s and 1950s and in 1962 the compact submachine gun vz. 61 know as the Scorpion.This legendary weapon was an imaginative and very successful attempt to cover the gap between classic submachine guns and service pistols. In the basic caliber of 7.65 mm Browning over 207,000 pieces had been made in Uherský Brod by the year 2000. Also in the mid 1970s the then state company started producing the groundbreaking CZ 75 pistol which was the work of the legendary designer František Koucký.
So where are the company today, after successful purchases of other arms manufacturers, and the setting up of manufacturing in the USA. The company started developing different service weapons such as the CZ 75 SP-01 SHADOW, successfully deployed by global armed forces and law enforcement. The partial tuning elements of this excellent all-steel pistol were subsequently used in other CZ pistols until the arrival of the CZ SHADOW 2 model in 2016. The historical assembly of the millionth CZ 75 series pistol was achieved in 2007. Now with additional manufacturing in Peru and the multi-functional BREN 2 assault rifle added to the CZ family of armaments, the company has established a growing reputation which has led to deployment globally by militaries and law enforcement such as:
- GIGN – Special Forces of Gendarmerie in France
- Armed forces (under the Ministry of Defense or Ministry of Interior, special forces, etc.) and police agencies in the USA, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Ukraine, Slovakia, Lithuania and Slovenia
- Policia Federal Gendarmeria in Mexico
- Police agencies in South Africa and Asia (Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand)
- special forces in countries around the world
- the Czech armed forces and police agencies
In April 2020 The Czech army purchased close to CZK 2.35 billion of CZ small arms and ammunition. The army will receive more than 16,000 BREN 2 assault rifles, over 21,000 CZ P-10 pistols, over 1,600 CZ 805 G1 underslung grenade launchers, nearly 100 CZ SCORPION PDWs and training ammunition over the next few years. The purchase follows the contracts from 2010 to 2016, when the army purchased almost 40,000 small arms from CZ.
“The Army of the Czech Republic demands only the best armament. This contract is an assurance for us that we are doing our job well and create high-quality and innovative products that measure up in the most demanding military and law enforcement markets. At the same time, it signals the importance of investment in the domestic defense industry, especially in the difficult times we are currently experiencing. This investment demonstrates the need to ensure maximum security of deliveries from domestic sources,” said Lubomir Kovarik, President of the CZ Group.
CZ’s portfolio of military firearms is extremely diverse and continuing to expand. Their research and development department works together with leading special forces, as well as the best sport shooters on the planet, to ensure their firearms perform at the highest level and meet the ever evolving needs of today’s armed forces.
In 2018 CZ became part of the CZG Group holding company. The CZG Group acquires companies with similar products and production synergies, like 4M with their tactic gear and the Swedish brand Spurh, which is well-known in military circles for their superior optics. This will allow the company to provide better tactical support to their clients both existing and new: this global supplier is for those that know.
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