According to information published by the Czech Ministry of Defense on December 21, 2021, the Czech army will acquire 949 FN Herstal Minimi machine guns via the Czech company CB Servis Centrum sro. The contract includes MINIMI machine guns in 7.62mm and 5.56mm calibers.
Belgian soldier armed with FN Herstal Minimi machine gun. (Picture source Army Recognition)
The deliveries of the Minimi machine guns are scheduled to take place from 2022 to 2025 and will also include sights, armor kits, cases, and packaging.
Currently, the Czech armed forces have different types of machine guns in 7.62mm and 12.7mm calibers including M2 Browning, NSV, M134 Minigun, PK 7.62mm machine gun, Rheinmetall MG 3, M60 and M48 from the United States and UK vs. 59.
The acquisition of these new machine guns is part 3 of a modernization plan launched by the Czech armed forces to have new small arms. The Minimi will be used by Czech soldiers of infantry units.
The FN Minimi is a light machine gun that was developed in 5.56mm caliber. It is manufactured by the Belgian company FN Herstal. The machine gun was introduced in the late 1970s and is now in service in more than 75 countries all over the world.
The Minimi is a squad automatic weapon that fires from an open bolt. It is an air-cooled weapon that is capable of fully automatic fire only. It can be belt fed or fired from a magazine.
In November 2013, FN Herstal unveiled the improved Mk3 version of the Minimi light machine gun. The upgrades were based on operational experience and user feedback over the past 10–15 years. It can be converted to fire 5.56×45mm or 7.62×51mm rounds.