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 defenceweb.co.za:
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!