Vektor CR-21

The Vektor CR-21 is a prototype South African assault rifle ("CR-21" being an abbreviation of Combat Rifle 21st Century)[2] chambered for 5.56×45mm NATO ammunition. It was designed by Denel Land Systems as a possible replacement for the South African National Defence Force's current R4 assault rifle,[3] however Denel Land Systems has since shifted focus to offering an upgraded R4 assault rifle to the SANDF instead.[4]

Vektor CR-21
The Vektor CR-21
TypeBullpup assault rifle
Place of originSouth Africa
Service history
In servicePrototype
Production history
Designed1997 (1997)
No. builtPrototype
VariantsCR-21 carbine
Mass3.72 kg (8.2 lb)
Length760 mm (29.9 in)
Barrel length460 mm (18.1 in)

Cartridge5.56×45mm NATO
ActionGas-operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire700 round/min (full auto)
Muzzle velocity980 m/s
Feed system20 or 35-round detachable R4 magazines[1]
SightsFiber optic illuminated reflex sight

The rifle is being marketed for export customers, but no sales have been achieved.[2]


First unveiled in 1997, the rifle uses the bullpup layout. This enables the rifle to be as short as a typical carbine, whilst still retaining the muzzle velocity of longer assault rifles. However, this makes the CR-21 only capable of being fired from the right hand as the ejection port is located on the back right side of the rifle. The port can not be changed from side to side.[3]


Internally, the CR-21 uses a slightly modified version of the Kalashnikov action found in the R4 assault rifle, which is known for its reliability and relatively low weight.[3] The rifle also makes significant use of high-impact polymer,[2] with the only exposed metal part on the rifle being the front of the barrel with its integral flash suppressor. Both of these result in the rifle having a low loaded weight, of 3.72 kg (8.2 lbs).[2] The CR-21 comes standard with a 1X magnification optical sight with an illuminated reticle that does not require batteries.[3][5] This sight is mounted on a sight rail, allowing easy removal and attachment, as well as the use of a range of different sight options. The forward handgrip has been specially designed to be easily removed and replaced with a grenade launcher similar to the M203 grenade launcher.[3] Finally, the stock has a built-in compartment which stores a cleaning kit for the rifle,[2] removing the usual need for the soldier to carry this separately.

A CR-21 carbine was said to have been developed by Vektor.[1] Both of their 35-round magazines are based from the R4/Galil rifles.[1]

See also


  1. "Vektor CR-21". Military Factory. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
  2. "Vektor CR-21". Military Today. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
  3. Max Popenker. "Vektor CR-21 assault rifle (South Africa)". Retrieved 2010-07-05.
  4. Leon Engelbrecht. "Denel showcases a 21st Century R4 assault rifle at AAD". Retrieved 2012-03-13.
  5. Omutumua Oshili. "Vektor CR-21 Assault Rifle". Archived from the original on 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
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