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Denel NTW 20

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Type  Anti-materiel rifle
In service  1998–present
Designed  1995
Place of origin  South Africa
Designer  Tony Neophytou
Manufacturer  Denel Land Systems

The NTW-20 is a South African anti-materiel rifle or large-calibre sniper rifle, developed by Denel Mechem in the 1990s. It is intended for deployment against targets including parked aircraft, telecommunication masts, power lines, missile sites, radar installations, refineries, satellite dishes, gun emplacements, bunkers and personnel, using a range of specialised projectiles. As with other weapons of this type, it can also be used for counter sniping and ordnance disposal (shooting explosive ordnance from a safe distance).

Contents

Development

The weapon was designed by Tony Neophytou (co-designer of the Neostead combat shotgun). Development of the system began in August 1995 under the "Aerotek" name and a working prototype was ready for testing four and a half months later. This rapid progress was made possible by Neophytou's expertise in the field of recoil reduction systems, having worked on helicopter turrets in the past. To further reduce the amount of research and development, the project recycled the barrel, bolt and barrel extension of the existing Vektor GA1 automatic cannon. It was put into production by Denel Land Systems in two versions; 20 x 110 and 20 x 82. The latter model is also available in 14.5 x 114 and conversion between the calibres can be done in the field by swapping the barrel and bolt assembly. The significantly larger 20 x 110 model cannot be converted to another calibre. The rifle was accepted into service with the South African National Defence Force in 1998.

Features

The NTW 20/14.5 is one of the few firearms in existence that allow the changing of the calibre without completely disassembling and reworking the weapon. Switching between the two calibres of the NTW (20×82mm and 14.5×114mm) requires changing the bolt, barrel, sighting gear and magazine. (A third variant, the NTW 20×110mm has been developed, but is not designed for barrel calibre switching.) Caliber switching the NTW 20/14.5 can be accomplished in the field without specialised tools. The magazine protrudes from the left side of the receiver. The NTW can be disassembled and packed into two backpacks for carriage. A muzzle brake is fitted on the end of the barrel which absorbs an estimated 50%–60% of recoil. This is further supplemented by a buffered slide in the receiver.

Influence

Denel Land Systems was contracted to supply weapon systems for the Indian Armed Forces, including anti-materiel rifles and self-propelled howitzers. However, following allegations that it had paid kickbacks to secure a deal for anti-materiel rifles, Denel was black-listed by the government. Subsequently, the Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli (OFT), in association with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), began developing an indigenous anti-material rifle called Vidhwansak, which borrowed heavily from the Denel NTW-20. The development of Vidhwansak was completed in November 2005.

References

Denel NTW-20 Wikipedia


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