The PAPOP (PolyArme POlyProjectiles, "multi-projectile multi-weapon") was a French project to construct a computerised multi-usage infantry weapon for the FÉLIN system, capable of hitting hidden or protected targets. It would have combined a 35 mm grenade launcher with a 5.56×45mm NATO assault rifle, both in a bullpup configuration, complete with targeting aids.
PAPOP-1 (top) and 2 (bottom)
|Type||Bullpup assault rifle|
|Place of origin||France|
|Unit cost||3000 Euros|
|Mass||5.5 kg unloaded|
7 kg with ammunition
|Muzzle velocity||1500 to 1800 m/s|
|Effective firing range||600 meters|
|Feed system||30-round detachable box magazine|
The PAPOP project aimed at providing, by 2010 or 2012, a versatile weapon capable of engaging enemy infantry, even protected, with a range of up to 600 metres.
An industrial partnership was set up to answer the request, GIAT being the main contractor. The subsystems are designed by FN Herstal (for the assault rifle), Sfim ODS (targeting system), Euroimpact and Lacroix (grenades).
A first prototype was proposed with 3 grenades in an internal tubular magazine. The prototype was deemed too heavy (8 kg) and bulky to be acceptable, which led to the design of a second prototype.
The second prototype aimed at correcting the issues of the first one, reducing the weight to 6 kg and making the whole system more compact. A particular emphasis was put on usability in urban warfare.
Sub-calibre 5.56mm rifle
The rifle fires sub-calibre ammunition with a 5.56 NATO sabot with a muzzle velocity of 1500 to 1800 metres per second. The new ammunition offers an enhanced range, and increases the penetrability enough to defeat individual armour of the PASGT type even at great distance.
The second tube is a semi-automatic 35 mm grenade launcher with programmable airburst shells. A large selector switches from rifle to grenade.
Three grenades are carried in a tubular magazine. They can be programmed to explode near the target, with two selectable yields; pre-cut fragments can be projected either towards the front, the side or the rear of the projectile, depending on how the charge is activated, which are lethal in a 5-metre radius. The 35 mm calibre was selected as to offer capabilities to penetrate flak vests.
A camera is fitted in the nose of the weapon, under the rifle muzzle. Batteries and the on-board computer are located in the stock. A rotating LCD screen on the top of the weapon displays information, allowing aiming the PAPOP from behind cover and "firing across the corners".
The targeting system includes night vision, a laser telemeter, and an IFF and a targeting computer which also programmes the grenades prior to launch.
The FÉLIN concept requires that data from the weapon could be shared with the other electronic component of the soldier, and transmitted across the battlefield to command posts or information centres. The PAPOP is thus a component of a larger integrated system, usable for reconnaissance or target designation.
Sources and references
- FRANCE LAUNCHES AIF WEAPON PROGRAM, Archived
- Giat PolyArme POlyProjectiles (PAPOP)
- AIF - PAPOP, sistemadearmas
- Trends in Small Arms and Light Weapons Development: Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Dimensions, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada