PMP Developing FULLY AUTO Variant of PAW 20mm Weapon

South African defense firm Denel Praetoria Metal Pressings (PMP) have announced a new project for a derivative of their radical 20mm PAW handheld semiautomatic cannon. The new weapon will reportedly be tripod-mounted, fully automatic, and compatible with the same 20x42mmB (belted) explosive ammunition used by the handheld version. Denel PMP is advertising a rate of fire for the new machine cannon of about 200 rounds per minute; via

Carel van der Merwe, Executive Manager R&D and Innovation at PMP, told defenceWeb that the new version, called Inkunzi Strike, should be ready for demonstration in September this year in time for the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition. He said the company is building a second prototype of the weapon, which is completely different to the original Inkunzi, but uses the same 20×42 mm bursting ammunition.

The Inkunzi Strike will be smaller and lighter than a Browning machinegun and be able to fire 200 rounds per minute, van der Merwe said, and will be vehicle or tripod mounted. The original Inkunzi PAW is a relatively light and compact infantry weapon.

The new weapon is company funded, with PMP actively seeking customers for it. Van der Merwe said a lot of interest has already been shown in the Inkunzi Strike. Sister company Denel Vehicle Systems is working in collaboration with PMP to produce turrets that can fit the weapon.

Last year PMP began production of the Inkunzi PAW (formerly called the Neopup) for its first international client. Another client, in the Middle East, recently ordered the weapon and PMP is currently delivering weapons and ammunition to this customer. Shipments will go out in May and June.

Van der Merwe told defenceWeb that PMP has received quite a lot of interest in Inkunzi PAW and Inkunzi Strike, both locally from the South African National Defence Force and foreign countries.

A fully automatic, mounted variant of the PAW 20mm weapon would in execution be a similar concept to the US Army’s abortive 25mm XM307 Advanced Crew-Served Weapon, which would have, like the Denel, sported a rate of fire of about 200-250 rounds/min, while firing 25mm programmable air-bursting munitions similar in size to the 20mm direct-fire rounds used by the PAW.

The PAW, originally marketed as the “Neopup” after its inventor, Tony Neophytou and its “bullpup” layout, was designed to allow infantry the ability to more accurately engage targets with explosive, multipurpose firepower than would be possible with a standard 40mm grenade launcher, and with a higher rate of fire thanks to its semi-automatic operation. The PAW is a similar idea, though considerably less ambitious in technical detail, to the US Army’s XM25 “Punisher” 25mm Counter-Defilade Target Engagement System.

The PAW, which had been on the market since the late 1990s, finally received orders from an unnamed customer in the summer of 2015.


Thanks to Tom for the tip!

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 is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • 12judges

    20mm HE full-auto-belt-fed goodness in man-portable form. This IS the 21st century I was promised!

    • I don’t know who promised you that, but what a great century it is!

    • noob

      Actually this is the grim darkness of the far future I was promised. FOR THE EMPEROR!

  • PK

    What’s with the nonsense capitalization of words in recent headlines? It’s distracting.

    Interesting news nonetheless, I’m surprised I hadn’t heard about this from the usual suspects in the DD community. Even if we can’t easily buy or source parts to build more mainstream non-40x46mm items such as this, they’re fun to know about.

    • Twilight sparkle

      You’ve gotta show some excitement sometimes, at least they aren’t saying “ITS A CANNON!!!”

  • Harry’s Holsters

    This is just cool!

  • SP mclaughlin

    Looking forward to seeing it in the next Neil Blomkamp film

    • noob

      Chappie had an AK that did that.

      • Prax

        Elysium had the AK, Chappie and District 9 both had actual Neopups.

      • SP mclaughlin

        Actually, that was Elysium.
        Chappie did have the original PAW-20 though.

  • Ghost930

    “US Army’s abortive 25mm XM307 Advanced Crew-Served Weapon”………This is becoming a story line seen more and more. The US military will soon become one of the most underequipped and least versatile military’s in the world. Not due necessarily to lack of innovation, but the Pentagons inability to test, evaluate, and field weapons and equipment before it is out of date. Case in point, the new handgun trials. Two years (this time around, remember JSSAP?) and 17 million dollars to find a freaking handgun…………a handgun for crying out loud!. And don’t even get me started on the whole camouflage pattern debacle and jack assery. The Russians, Chinese, and now even South Africa, are starting to equip their military with advanced individual soldier systems with equipment that not only works, but was efficiently fielded in a fairly timely manner. The catch phrase at the Puzzle Palace seems to be, “well DARPA is working on something like that”. In a recent Pentagon interview, one of our leading Generals espoused the opinion that he was not sure we could at present take on a like sized unit from either China or Russia with any guarantee of success. That should be a big wake up call folks.

    • FYI: JSSAP still exists. It didn’t go away at the end of the XM9 pistol selection.

      • Yep; in fact I’ll be contacting them soon regarding XM8 and CTSAS.

      • Ghost930

        I stand corrected Daniel. Thanks. Which actually makes it a worse situation, and my comment more relative. Adding in what that has cost, since it’s inception, along with the previous two years and money, it makes the cost and time of finding a simple military handgun even more ludicrous.

    • Iggy

      Pretty sure the problem with the US version is it was just too complicated, they wanted the air burst feature and all the electronic doodads. This works because the designer literally just wanted something that could fire 20mm grenades and the electronic what not can be sorted our later. Also since it can mount a variety of scopes, it can probably be upgraded much more easily in the future.

      • ghost930

        And that’s the problem in a nutshell Iggy. We keep trying to make systems that incorporate the newest “whiz-bang” technology. Don’t get me wrong, technology is a good thing. But when you are making systems that keep failing because they are two “techy” to survive a combat environment, or are easily field repaired, then you aren’t helping the soldier, or improving his capability. The true worth of any weapons system is it’s field sustainability and operability. A broke whiz-bang sitting in a repair depot, maintenance hangar, armorers shop, is just a hunk of metal that is not helping the fight. Sometimes the KISS principle is a good plan. Having a hundred rifles that work 90% of the time, is better than having a thousand rifles that work 20% of the time. A good example would be the Tracking Point rifle system. On paper, and even in limited hunting and range use, it was a good idea, and good technology. People who had little or no shooting experience could and were making 700 meter plus shots with 20 minutes instruction on the rifle system. Great right? Except when they started testing it for combat sustainability, it failed miserably. To delicate for combat field use, not soldier proof, and inability to field repair the system killed the military interest for now. Are problem is we keep trying to make do all, end all, everything to everyone weapon systems, that end up falling short for everyone.

        • noob

          sadly it usually takes desperation before good simple designs appear.

          take for instance the Escort Carriers of WW2. nobody in peacetime wanted to command such a simple and small boat, but they punched way above their weight in war. then in peace again nobody wanted to command such a small boat and they were scrapped and replaced with LHDs and supercarriers that carried more prestige.

          when you’re winning, your sword is encrusted in gold and jewels.

          when your back is to the wall, you start to care about the quality of the steel.

    • Tritro29

      I’d say that’s BS. The US units will shower the Chinese guys with fire before they knew you were there. As for our (Russian) guys. Probably the same deal, mostly the same result. Russians in platoon level are still catching up in coms and BMS. For the rest, we never lacked firepower, we lacked good flexibility with it.

      Americans should really chill a bit with the excess negativity. You’re starting to read like Ukraine. You’re still “da real MVP” guys. Cheer up.

      • ghost930

        I take it by your comment, that you either haven’t been in the military, or haven’t been active duty in a while. It’s not negativity, it’s called reality. You need to catch up. Some of the latest assessments of both the Chinese, and the Russians increasing capabilities by the US military are not classified, and can be easily looked up open source. Jane’s Defense also has a pretty good capability assessment openly available. I have personally operated with Russian, and Russian Federation trained personnel in the last few years, or around them. They aren’t that bad in many cases, and their Special Operations folks are good to very good, and since they have been watching us, and copying our equipment for the last tens years, it ain’t bad either. First rule of winning a fight, don’t under estimate your enemy, and don’t let your ego get in the way of what’s actually going on. Fifteen years ago, if you told the majority of the command staff that a group of rag tag Islamic extremist would have us tied up for 10+ years on two fronts, they would have laughed at you. Ain’t nobody in the Puzzle Palace laughing today.

        • > that a group of rag tag Islamic extremist would have us tied up for 10+ years on two fronts,

          It is called Deut 28:12 (August 1971) , Deut 28:43 are the Chinese that built our rail roads.

    • You mean the China that equips its front line infantry with rifles that crack in the cold and melt in the heat, then allots them ~100 rounds for training per year? I wouldn’t want to lay any money on the outcome of a special forces v. special forces engagement, but the PLA’s overall state of combat readiness is abysmal, and their long term ground combat strategy seems to be based around attempting to throw more conscripts at an enemy than the enemy can throw bullets back.

      • Anomanom

        Yeah, but given that they have more conscripts than we have population, that might be effective.

        • There are a little over two million pairs of boots in the PLA, but they aren’t good for much if everything they were supposed to ride into battle on or in has had the meanings of SFW or SDB or JDAM explained to them up close and personal.

          The underlying reality is that there is almost no realistically conceivable scenario wherein US and PRC rifle-humpers would engage each other in unfriendly conversation for any sustained period of time; any Tom Clancy fantasies of US/PRC military conflict are inevitably going to be more along the lines of Dale Brown fantasies and revolve around guided missiles and ASW ordnance exchanged over, under, or near Taiwan or the South China Sea. If we ever decide to Transform And Roll Out against China it’s almost certainly going to be in the Cyber Warfare Theater of Operations, because both of us have too much ~~big money~~ invested in trade of cheap plastic gewgaws to damage the other’s infrastructure very much.

    • > inability to test, evaluate, and field weapons and equipment before it is out of date.


  • Sgt. Stedenko

    Real men only fire 30 mm and up.
    Might consider it for the kids so they quit using my 40 mm on the squirrels.

    • PK

      We should be friends.

    • noob

      I recall Singapore Kinetics has a 40mm airbursting belt fed grenade launcher. They put it on the Remote Weapons stations Bionix AFVs and Terrex ICVs.

  • roguetechie

    On other sites there’s lively discussions about this weapon going on. One role being talked about is site protection with vbied being used more frequently. Also promotional material from the company is also targeting the police market for its ability to positively wreck civilian vehicles. In some ways it fits the bill as a modern super 12 gauge like the Russian 23mm shotguns.

    The middle East seems to be gearing up for serious fighting lately. This is far from the first acquisition I’ve been hearing about lately. Then again military equipment seems to be hot again with many nations spending very judiciously but with some unspoken urgency. May this summer be enjoyed with beer and barbecue rather than EFP’s and anarchy.

  • Rooftop Voter

    Will it work on 5 stand?

  • Kivaari

    This thing seems better for engaging snipers at 1500m, than a new rifle and round.

    • PK

      20x42mm has nowhere near that much range.

      • Kivaari

        I know, but the idea was a few sniper rifles will take out fewer enemy troops than a small aerial drone or missile. Grenade launchers can’t get the range unless they become vehicle mounted, essentially, no longer grenade launchers by our standards but cannons. I some European nations the warhead of an artillery piece are referred to as “grenades”.

  • John

    OK, how about this, two of these mounted on rails on both sides that slide all the way from the bow of a ship to the stern.
    = no more pirates?

    • Most deep water ports won’t allow armed cargo ships to dock; the current most effective way of protecting high value vessels in pirate-infested waters is to hire a complement of mercenaries contractors with disposable small arms to board a ship after it leaves port and then return to their own boat before it enters a new port. If the ship is detained by a naval vessel (or there’s no “mother ship” to return to) the contractors can just huck their guns and ammo overboard.

      • noob

        like in that “warning shots! warning shots!” video where the contractors were engaging small boats from a container ship with M16s from behind improvised sandbag observation posts on the deck?

  • Paladin

    I need this

    because reasons.

  • Paul Joly

    The full auto mode is useless in his simple form.

  • DW

    QBZ95 ISN’T an AK variant. It’s more like a VZ58 for having no hammer and a short-stroke piston. Bolt is still a rotating design though.