The Neopup Is Back, And In Production

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The Neopup PAW-20 is one of a few innovative projects that were shown off to much fanfare at the tail end of the last millenium, but that never received significant traction with the arms market. However, over fifteen years after the PAW-20 was invented, South African ammunition and weapons manufacturer Denel PMP has received its first orders for the innovative weapon, which is now called “Inkunzi” and allows individuals to fire powerful multipurpose 20mm cannon shells at point targets. From defenceweb.co.za:

Ammunition manufacturer Pretoria Metal Pressings (PMP) has received its first order for its Neopup 20 mm personal area weapon, now known as the Inkunzi.

Phaladi Petje, CEO of PMP, told defenceWeb that Neopup is now a fully PMP product with an international client, which was acquired three to four months ago. Production is currently underway. He added that his company has received interest in the weapon from a number of countries, and is busy working on a new, related weapon which will be launched next year.

In the last financial year PMP purchased the full rights and intellectual property from Neopup for the 20 x 42 mm weapon and production of the weapon. The Inkunzi (meaning Bull) is a semi-automatic weapon that fires bursting ammunition and can be comfortably fired by a single rifleman as an area weapon to a range of up to 1000 meters, although effective range is up to 4000 meters. It holds up to five rounds in a conventional box magazine. The entire barrel/bolt group recoils within its housing to decrease recoil.

Petje said that he expects niche production orders and that mass production would be another thing, but that PMP is willing to collaborate with certain countries to produce it elsewhere. He said that one of the hindrances to mass production is that since it is such a new weapon, military doctrine will have to adjust for it.

The PAW-20 is not the only individual high explosive projector weapon that has had a delayed launch. The US XM25, which just recently was approved for acceptance testing, is based on the older XM29 Objective Individual Combat Weapon, which combined a similar 20mm airburst launcher with a compact 5.56mm assault rifle into a single unit.

A demonstration of the capabilities of the PAW-20/Inkunzi is available at this link, and an older promotional videois embedded below:



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • “He said that one of the hindrances to mass production is that since it is such a new weapon, military doctrine will have to adjust for it.”

    I expect the doctrine shift for the new class of portable, heavy weapons will be a big feature of the next couple decades as the XM25, Ratheon Micro missile, NeoPup, and QLB-06 start to proliferate.

  • Sianmink

    Wasn’t there a whole ‘lacking lethality’ problem with the munitions that both USA and SKorea dropped their 20mm projects for 25mm?

    • Kivaari

      Could be. The small jump of 5mm’s brings a huge jump in explosive capacity.

      • Sianmink

        36% more volume. Significant.

    • HB

      That’s wrong; Koreans retain 20mm still. While they left the same caliber, they prolonged the projectile considerably, since they used bolt action(which doesn’t have strict ammo length limitation like semi-autos). Basic lethality of Korean 20mm is presumably similar to that of US 25mm, at least theoretically. (Though unproven on real battlefield).

      • Jean Luc Picard

        I don’t know about the lethality of those, though the Neopup can’t be compared because those “smart” grenade launchers needs to have a wide area of effect to be lethal since they rarely strike with direct hits. The Neopup is meant for more direct impacts, the various demonstrations pretty much shows it …

    • INFI

      There was a big thing with the “PUNISHER” but Im a little know nothing. Selectable munitions are great when they operate operationally. When you can pop a squirrel. out – in -and or past the hole selectively, the amount of explosive needed is significantly reduced. Lethality is maximised in a happy environment. Heres a baby panda thing ….

  • Vitsaus

    Looks very awkward to hold, and the weight distribution would be awful.

  • TDog

    I’m surprised no southpaws have chimed in yet…

    • Lookup

      Literally the first comment

      • TDog

        At least I didn’t bring up trigger discipline! 😀

        And I think Sianmink beat me to the first post award…

  • iksnilol

    Little known fact: The development name of this weappon was FLE (F*** Lefties Everywhere).

    • MR

      Ha! Thought you meant liberals, initially.

  • Renov8

    I appreciate the fact Lefties can shoot this cannon. Should we do a group buy???

  • INFI

    Dis Yolandi gots a Neopup man!

    • disqus_PDmXLtTxJj

      ZEF 4 SHO! LoL

      • INFI

        Fings yea/////…………

    • nova3930

      I watched that entire movie and only caught a half dozen words I think….

    • JK

      You got Mick Jagger’s attention.

  • Kivaari

    It sure has a wow factor. It looks like it could be melded into many operations.

  • SP mclaughlin

    We PMP’n now

  • 11B

    What’s the advantage over an M203/320? There seems to be almost no AOE, so why use an explosive projectile when you could just as easily shoot the guy?

  • Edeco

    The name is hilarious. Reminds me of the fictitious drink “Shiz” in Futurama. It’s funny because it sounds like a softdrink name, but also inappropriate.

  • MR

    Want a 50BMG replica.

  • buzzman1

    They should make a 5.56 version of this weapon because it doesnt look evil like an AR with a pistol grip hanging down from it or a long banana shaped magazine.