CZECH AND POLISH ARMY
IntroductionSandwiched in between very powerful neighbors, Poland and Czechoslovakia have enjoyed a close military alliance as the cornerstone of their defense policy since the Age of Recovery. This partnership is most apparent in the realm of military procurement and research, where the two nations have pooled their resources to produce respected and very high quality indigenous weapons systems ranging from small arms to armored fighting vehicles.
The rifle portion of the vz94 is built around an 8x21mm round classified by the Czechs as a "multi-purpose" round, consisting of a 4mm tungsten penetrator surrounded by an additional 4mm of spun, serrated ceramic fiber designed to explosively abrade away from the penetrator when the round strikes a target (producing minor fragmentation damage, as well as inducing immediate yaw and tumbling in the penetrator). The performance of 8mm MP closely resembles the effect of APHE small arms ammunition, though the scattering of fragments and hydrostatic shock is not as pronounced. On the other hand, the 8x21mm round is more stable in flight and performs better against rigid body armor than current APHE rounds like the American-German 9x12mm APHE round fired by the M5 and Sk-19 rifles.
The rifle portion of the weapon is selectable for semi-automatic fire, three round bursts fired at full velocity and a very high rate of fire (1200 rounds per minute) and a reduced-velocity setting for suppressive fire similar to that used on the Sk-19, where the weapon fires 800 rounds per minute at a manageable 500 meters per second velocity.
The 23mm grenade launcher is a binary weapon firing 23x70mm high-explosive, selectable fuze mini-grenades (a number of other ammunition types are available, including standard high explosive, an incendiary smoke round for target marking and a less than lethal baton round for special applications). The vz 94 is unusual in that both weapons systems are bull-pup configuration, owing to the use of a top-mounted horizontal rifle magazine and a rolling bolt design to bring rounds to the chamber. It is also unusual in the use of a common resevoir of binary propellant for both the rifle and grenade launcher; inserted into a special well between the pistol and forward grips, the 250 gram propellant bottle provides sufficient propellant for five rifle and five grenade launcher magazines to be fired.
Rounding out the weapon is its companion optical system, the Polish-designed wz 94 Combat Sight. The wz 94 Sight is typical of modern electro-optical systems, incorporating a single channel display which automatically combines variable power visible light magnification (up to x6 power) with thermal imaging and a laser rangefinder/designator to allow the use of proximity-fused grenades. Data display is selectable for either the sight's aperture or for direct display onto a high-threat helmet HUD system. (Note that the latter display is only possible on Polish or Czech military helmets, without some sort of hardware and software adaptors fitted to either the weapon or the helmet.) The wz94 sight is powered by a 100 gram battery pack located in the rifle's pistol grip adequate for 24 hours continuous operations.
System SpecificationsType: 23mm semi-automatic grenade launcher with 8mm binary assault rifle
Country: Czechoslovakia and Poland
Weight, Empty (including sight and sight battery): 3.4 kg
Weight, Fully Loaded: 4.6 kg
Length: 75cm (Bulk=2)
Propellant Bottle Capacity: Charged for 230 semi-automatic or autoburst 8mm or 23mm grenades (or 34 full automatic area fire bursts)
Propellant Bottle Weight: 0.25 kg
Price: Lv650 (Lv2 for 5 disposable 40 round magazines, Lv2 for binary propellant bottle, Lv6 per PXHE grenade, Lv4 for other 23mm grenandes)
8x21mm Binary Assault RifleAction: Semi-automatic, high velocity three round bursts, or low velocity full automatic bursts, Ammunition: 8x21mm Multi-Purpose Binary, Muzzle Velocity: 800 mps (500 mps for full automatic fire), Magazine: 40 round box, with binary catalyst, Magazine Weight: 0.4kg, ROF: 3 (for Semi-Automatic and Auto-Burst; Full Automatic Area Fire ROF is 5), Aimed Fire Range: 750 meters, Area Fire Burst (Auto-Burst Setting): 9 (AFV=0.9), Area Fire Range (Auto-Burst Setting): 500 meters, Area Fire Burst (Reduced Velocity Full Automatic): 10 rounds (AFV = 1.5), Area Fire Range (Reduced Velocity Fully Automatic): 300 meters, DP Value: 0.8 (0.4 full automatic area fire)
23x70mm Magazine Fed Binary Grenade LauncherAction: Semi-automatic, Ammunition: 23x70mm propelled grenades, Muzzle Velocity: 225 mps, Magazine: 6-round box with binary catalyst, Magazine Weight: 0.5 kg, ROF: 3, Aimed Fire Range: 350 meters, DP Value: Varies by grenade type
Sufficient power for 14 shots is provided by a standard capacity 7mj FDLMS powercell, which is inserted into the top of the weapon's stock (without a magazine loaded, the weapon is very front-heavy, though Czech and Polish forces employ weighted training magazines which only provide power to the weapon's optics). The weapon incorporates a bipod at the end of its "barrel" to help with extreme long-range firing (a feature which was found to be absolutely necessary based on experience with the earlier licensed production versions of the "Luce-3" laser rifle). Note that vz 97 7mj power cells are not compatible with the 7mj power cells used on Argentine or German laser rifles, without some sort of adaptor (and these cells would not fit into the vz 97's magazine well, in any event).
The vz97 is equipped with a wz96 electro-optical sight unit (a modification of the very successful wz 94 that equips the vz 94 binary assault rifle). The sight includes variable power image intensification (up to x10 power), high-resolution thermal imaging, and a passive range estimation system. Like the wz94 sight, primary power is derived from the weapon's magazine, with a small integral battery providing emergency power if necessary. Also like the wz94 and vz94, the sight can display information on its own viewing aperture, or project it onto the firer's helmet mounted HUD (though it should be noted that the former is preferred for long-range firing).
In both Czech and Polish service the vz 97 is typically issued at a rate of one weapon per fireteam, in higher readiness units, or one per squad (with the remainder of personnel being armed with vz 94s).
Type: 50-01 laser rifle, Country: Czechoslovakia and
Poland, Weight, Empty (including sight): 2.5 kg, Weight,
Fully Loaded: 3.5 kg, Length: 76cm (Bulk=2), Action:
Single Shot, Pulse Energy: 0.5 megajoules, Muzzle Velocity:
C, Magazine: 7mj FDLMS cell (14 pulses), Magazine Weight:
1 kg, ROF: 3, Aimed Fire Range: 1200 meters, DP
Value: 1.2, Price: Lv700 (Lv5 for disposable power
Type: 8mm binary assault rifle, Country: Czechoslovakia
and Poland, Weight, Empty (including sight): 2.5 kg, Length:
72cm (Bulk=2), Action: Semi-automatic, high velocity three
round bursts, or low velocity full automatic bursts, Ammunition:
8x21mm Multi-Purpose Binary, Muzzle Velocity: 800 mps (500
mps for full automatic fire), Magazine: 40 round box, with
binary catalyst, Propellant Bottle: Charged for 200 aimed/autoburst
rounds or 30 fully automatic bursts (plus 30 grenades), Magazine
Weight: 0.4kg, Propellant Bottle Weight: 0.3kg, ROF:
3 (Area Fire 5), Aimed Fire Range: 550 meters,
Type: 7.5mm caseless pistol, Country: Czechoslovakia
and Poland, Weight, Empty: 0.7 kg, Length: 20 cm (Bulk=0),
Action: Single shot or bursts, Ammunition: 7.5x19mm
fixed cartridge ball, Muzzle Velocity: 420 mps, Magazine:
15 round box, Magazine Weight: 0.1kg, ROF: 3, Aimed
Fire Range: 50 meters, Area Fire Burst: 3 (AFV=0.25), Area
Fire Range: 25 meters, DP Value: 0.4, Price: Lv
150 (Lv2 for 100 rounds)
The vz.68 family of weapons all fire an 8x39mm caseless round which is generally common and available, though it may be less common in certain locations (most notably the Chinese Arm). All versions fire 30-round magazines, except for the light machinegun version, which is adapted to fire disentegrating belted ammunition, usually from 150 round cassettes. A weapon may be converted to different versions of the family by a competent gunsmith, usually requiring replacement of the barrel and stock, though the light machinegun also uses a reinforced receiver and slightly altered bolt carrier to allow fire from an open bolt position. Conversion components can be purchased seperately from the weapon for Lv50, or Lv75 for the light machinegun.
A single-shot, low-velocity 30mm grenande launcher (the wz 68) is also available for the vz 68 family, and may be fitted to any any version except for the light machingun (where GL placement is prevented by the weapon's bipod). This weapon's ammunition is most definitely not compatible with modern 30mm designs, though case dimensions unfortunately allow higher-velocity rounds to be chambered. As a consequence, the wz 68 grenade launcher is not commonly seen outside of official government service with Czech, Polish, or other forces, and even there has prompted some mixed emotions among users.
vz.68 Assault Rifle
vz.68 Light Machinegun
vz.68 Assault Carbine
vz.70 Personal Defense Carbine
wz. 68 Single Shot 30mm Grenade Launcher