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: