PRAGUE - The Czech assault rifle CZ 807 BREN firing the Soviet 7.62×39mm cartridge is said to be one of three finalists in the Pakistan Army's search for a new weapon to replace its decades-old Chinese Type 56 and the German Heckler & Koch G3 rifles, reported on Sunday.

The claim was made by the CZ 807's maker, Ceska zbrojovka a.s. Uherský Brod (CZUB), or the Czech Arms Factory.

CZUB Director of Military Weapons Martin Šanda told Czech media the CZ 807 is a special version for the Pakistan Army derived from the CZ 805 used by the armed forces of the Czech Republic.

"(The) Czech arms industry has successfully participated in the tender for the rearmament of the Pakistan Army with its CZ 807," said Šanda.

"Of the original eight candidates which met the extremely rigorous demands of the Pakistan Army, there were only three finalists, including the CZ 807."

The other two alleged finalists haven't been revealed but informed sources claim these two are the Kalashnikov AK-103 and the FN SCAR-H.

The case for the AK-103 is strong since it's a Russian weapon and fires a 7.62×39mm cartridge round similar to that of the Type 56 (a Chinese version of the AK-47). The same can also be said for the SCAR-H since this weapon also fires a 7.62x39mm round.

Among the other firms competing for the Pakistan Army's new assault rifle are the Heckler & Koch HK-416 and the Beretta ARX-200. The ARX is chambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO round while the HK-416 fires the 5.56x45mm NATO round.

Šanda said rifle tests were conducted this year, "in all weather conditions from the Himalayan glaciers, where the temperature dropped below -40°C up to the jungle or desert, where they climbed to the contrary, we recorded +54°C."

"Apart from these tests conducted directly by users of the combat units and weapons, they were tested in laboratory under applicable methodologies."

Šanda said the CZ 807 was evaluated as "the best in the context of user tests, for example, but also as the most accurate direct comparison of standardised absolute world elite.

"Additionally, the testing was attended throughout by CZ representatives who collected valuable data for further development of service weapons. Some of them spent most of the year in Pakistan in difficult conditions."