Denel NTW-20

Denel NTW-20
Type Anti-materiel rifle
Place of origin South Africa
Service history
In service 1998-present
Production history
Designer Tony Neophytou
Designed 1995
Manufacturer Denel Land Systems
Variants NTW 20, NTW 14.5, NTW 20×110mm
Weight 31 kg (NTW 20),
34 kg (NTW 14.5)
Length 1,795 mm (NTW 20),
2,015 mm (NTW 14.5)
Barrel length 1,000 mm (NTW 20),
1,220 mm (NTW 14.5)
Crew Two; rifle breaks down into two parts for transport and fits into two backpacks weighing 15kg each, one containing the weapon receiver section, while the other contains the barrel and ammunition

Cartridge 20×82mm (NTW 20)
20×110mm Hispano (NTW 20×110mm)
14.5×114mm (NTW 14.5)
Action Bolt action, recoiling barrel
Muzzle velocity 720 m/s (20×82mm)
820 m/s (20×110mm)
1,000 m/s (14.5×114mm)
Effective firing range 1,500m (20×82mm)
1,800m (20×110mm)
2,300m (14.5×114mm)
Feed system 3-round detachable box magazine (20×82mm and 14.5×114mm)
Single shot (20×110mm)
Sights 8 × 56 Lynx Telescopic sight

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 specialized projectiles.[1] 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).


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. In order 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.[2] It was put into production by Denel Land Systems in two versions; 20 x 110[3] and 20 x 82.[4] 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.[5] The rifle was accepted into service with the South African National Defence Force in 1998.


The NTW 20/14.5 is one of the few firearms in existence that allow the changing of the caliber without completely disassembling and reworking the weapon. Switching between the two calibers 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 caliber switching.) Caliber switching the NTW 20/14.5 can be accomplished in the field without specialized 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.


20×82mm 14.5×114mm 20×110mm
Cartridge 20×82mm 14.5×114mm 20×110mm Hispano-Suiza
Weight (empty) 30.0 kg (66.1 lb) 34.0 kg (75.0 lb) 32.0 kg (70.5 lb)
Overall length 1,800 mm (71 in) 2,016 mm (79.4 in) 1,800 mm (71 in)
Rifling (1 full turn) 560 mm (22 in) 408 mm (16.1 in)
Length of barrel 1,000 mm (39 in) 1,220 mm (48 in) 1,000 mm (39 in)
Muzzle velocity 720 m/s (2,400 ft/s) 1,000 m/s (3,300 ft/s) 820 m/s (2,700 ft/s)
Muzzle energy 28,000 J 32,000 J ~40,000 J
Effective range > 1,600 m (1,700 yd) > 2,400 m (2,600 yd) > 1,800 m (2,000 yd)


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.[6]

See also


  1. Kokalis, Peter: Weapons Tests And Evaluations: The Best Of Soldier Of Fortune, page 223. Paladin Press, 2001.
  2. Kokalis, 224
  3. "Infantry Weapons - NTW 20 X 110". Denel Land Systems. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  4. "Infantry Weapons - NTW 20 X 82". Denel Land Systems. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  5. "Denel NTW-20 - Anti-Materiel Rifle - History, Specs and Pictures - Military, Security and Civilian Guns and Equipment". 2012-08-20. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  6. Girja Shankar Kaura (2006-02-05). "Ordnance factories bag order for 30,000 carbines". The Tribune. Retrieved 2009-06-07.


External links

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