PRAGUE, Czech Republic, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The Czech Republic's military forces are being equipped with new assault rifles from a local manufacturer starting in July.
The weapon is the CZ 805 BREN made by Ceska zbrojovka, a joint stock company which has headquarters in Uhersky Brod.
The Czech Ministry of Defense said the rifle comes in two variants -- long barrel and short barrel -- and replaces the 7.62mm vz. 58, in use by Czechoslovak and Czech militaries for more than 50 years.
The CZ 805 BREN rifle is a unified, modular weapon system enabling accommodation of additional devices with the prospect of further improvements. Both 7.62 x 39mm and NATO standard 5.56 x 45mm cartridges can be used.
The new assault rifle CZ 805 BREN is part of the government's Soldier of 21st Century Project, which will integrate all elements of personal equipment, communications, navigation, opto-electronic soldier systems.
The ministry said the rifles will become operational with Czech forces by autumn.