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Metal Storm nears pre-production testing

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Preacherman, Jan 23, 2006.

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  1. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    From UPI (http://upi.com/SecurityTerrorism/view.php?StoryID=20060120-070112-5273r):

    1/21/2006 1:52:00 PM -0500

    New super-gun to be tested in Feb

    By PAMELA HESS
    UPI Pentagon Correspondent

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Next month a new high-explosive munition will be fired in Singapore and then tested again by the U.S. Army, heralding what may be a sea change in weaponry: a gun that can fire 240,000 rounds per minute.

    That's compared to 60 rounds per minute in a standard military machine gun.

    Metal Storm Inc., a munitions company headquartered in Virginia but with its roots in Australia, has been developing a gun that can shoot at blistering speeds, albeit in short bursts as each barrel is reloaded.

    A Metal Storm gun of any size -- from a 9 mm hand-gun up to a machine gun size or a grenade launcher -- has no moving parts other than the bullets or munition inside the barrel. Rather than chambering a single slug for each shot - very quickly in the case of machine guns -- the bullets come pre-stacked inside the barrel and can be shot all at once, or one at a time, as the shooter decides through the electronic controls.

    Because there are no moving parts, the weapon is less likely to jam, and will presumably need less maintenance.

    Lashing many barrels together increases the number of rounds per second. Once fired, however, each spent barrel has to be reloaded.

    Starting in 2006 the company will demonstrate its prototypes with applicability that is especially likely to interest the U.S. military. The weapon system can be mounted on an unmanned ground combat vehicle, an unmanned aerial vehicle, and might be used as a defense against rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.

    Metal Storm's speed allows it to lay down a blinding wall of slugs that can intercept and pulverize incoming enemy fire, according to company CEO David Smith. As long as the grenade or mortar is fired from outside a range of about 50 meters or 162.5 feet and a Doppler radar is in use, a Metal Storm system could be an effective defense, he told UPI.

    Closer than that and there is just not time to react.

    "But if you are from 50 meters and beyond, if everything can work fast enough -- the radar -- there is enough time mathematically" to shoot down incoming fire, Smith said.

    At least 153 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq by enemy rockets and mortars since the start of the war. Nearly 2,000 have been wounded.

    The grenade launcher barrel can also carry less-than-lethal munitions, like small bean bags, sponge grenades or smoke. On Jan. 16, the Army awarded Metal Storm a $975,000 contract to further develop its non-lethal rounds.

    "Our so-called competition is (the) Mk19 - grenade machine gun," Smith said. "It's enormously heavy. It takes six people to carry it into a battlefield scene. It's not mobile.

    "But the military has had this transition out of big system warfighting into much lighter, higher firepower that can be carried into battle by individuals or light vehicles. Our guns have no moving parts -- so they have the same amount of fire power at significantly reduced weight ratio."

    Metal Storm technology has been under development for about a decade, but a series of small-business innovative research contracts awarded recently by the Department of Energy and the Army mean prototypes are now being produced and demonstrated.

    "We are to the point we can start providing prototypes. The Army is very, very parochial in how they buy weapon systems," Smith said. "But now we can put it into an actual environment."

    The company is also studying whether it can mount a Metal Storm weapon on a small helicopter, particularly looking at the recoil effect from the gun.

    Smith said such a system - deployable down to the squad level -- could be useful in a place like Iraq, where it's a common tactic for insurgents to launch a mortar and then run. By the time soldiers on foot or in a vehicle get to the launch site, the shooters are long gone. But a UAV quickly launched can see where the shooters run to, and if a gun is on board, can shoot at them.

    The Australian military is testing a Metal Storm gun of its own, the Advanced Individual Combat Weapon (AICW). The AICW combines both an assault rifle and a 40 mm grenade launcher in a single unit with a common trigger, allowing the shooter to choose which munition he wants to fire without having to refit his weapon. It also allows three grenades to be fired at once, whereas one is the only option in the current generation of weapons.

    Metal Storm Inc. will demonstrate a high-explosive munition with a 10-meter (32.5 feet) or burst radius in Singapore on Feb. 6, Smith said, and for the Army's Picatinny Arsenal and Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center later that month.
     
  2. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Very long dev' process but in a way glad to see these guys still in the frame. Very impressive stuff but had wondered if it would make the distance.

    Seems they are still in the picture - could be certain applications where this could be superb.
     
  3. Plumber576

    Plumber576 Member

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    Anybody have the link for the video of the early version of one of these? If I'm not mistaken, it just looks like a box with holes that unleashes a hail of bullets...
     
  4. AirPower

    AirPower Member

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    HUH? Aussie's AICW sounds just like failed US OICW. I'm really surprised they mentioned this, it has no relevance to metalstorm at all.

    As for metalstorm, it sure sounds impressive but more likely a limited application. Once the bbl are spent, the show's over unless you have a whole bunch of bbl around, which is not feasible for regular infantry footsoldiers.

    Also, I wonder if the bullet in front will be less accurate due to shorter bbl length it has to travel.
     
  5. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    They must be using some really slow standard military machineguns. Obviously it is a typo, but it struck me a funny.

    They note that with no moving parts, Metal Storm is less likely to jam. Maybe so. However, with its rate of fire, if there is a problem such as a squib or round ahead of others that does not fire, then the gun will possibly that much more likely to suffer catastrophic failure.

    While the business portion of the gun has no moving parts other than the ammo to cause problems like machineguns, machineguns are unlikely to suffer and electronic failure in regard to power loss, failed circuits, and programming since most are not electric.

    Also, contrary to the claims, the Metal Storm does have moving parts. While they may not be pulling a mechanical trigger or selecting the rate of fire mechanically, buttons have to be pushed to program the fire sequence and to initiate it.
     
  6. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Member

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    :scrutiny:
     
  7. EZ CZ75

    EZ CZ75 Member

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    I know that electronics have their problems, but they have come a long way as of late. The thing that blows my mind is how complex some of the firing mechanisms can be in my firearms. Whether my mess of springs, pins, sears, levers, and triggers is any more reliable than a mess of circuitry is a very good question.

    Argueably in a precision shooting rifle an elctronic firing mechanism will reduce lock time and shrink circles. I think Remington, in fact, was trying this. I know lock times are short already, but they did get better ones with the elctronics installed.

    In any case, I want to at least see it.
     
  8. LAK

    LAK Member

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    My experience with "better quality" electrical gadgets is that they usually work fine under ideal conditions. Meaning stable room temperature, very low humidity, out of direct sunlight, no vibration and only the occasional bump.

    Mil-spec gear is generally quite tough, but I do not think that even what seems like fairly brutal testing makes up for the longer term strain, deterioration and aging under long periods of transport, alternating temperature extremes etc.

    No circuitry in mine thanks; no matter how impressive it is "when it is working right".
    ------------------------------------------

    http://ussliberty.org
    http://ssunitedstates.org
     
  9. Deadman

    Deadman Member

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    The AICW is a Steyr Aug with a three shot Metalstorm grenade launcher attached on top. Not that I'm happy about it.

    http://world.guns.ru/assault/as72-e.htm
     
  10. Waitone

    Waitone Member

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    New super-gun to be tested in Feb

    <Looks like UPI now does press release work disguised as news>

    http://upi.com/SecurityTerrorism/view.php?StoryID=20060120-070112-5273r

    New super-gun to be tested in Feb

    By PAMELA HESS
    UPI Pentagon Correspondent

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Next month a new high-explosive munition will be fired in Singapore and then tested again by the U.S. Army, heralding what may be a sea change in weaponry: a gun that can fire 240,000 rounds per minute.

    That's compared to 60 rounds per minute in a standard military machine gun.

    Metal Storm Inc., a munitions company headquartered in Virginia but with its roots in Australia, has been developing a gun that can shoot at blistering speeds, albeit in short bursts as each barrel is reloaded.

    A Metal Storm gun of any size -- from a 9 mm hand-gun up to a machine gun size or a grenade launcher -- has no moving parts other than the bullets or munition inside the barrel. Rather than chambering a single slug for each shot - very quickly in the case of machine guns -- the bullets come pre-stacked inside the barrel and can be shot all at once, or one at a time, as the shooter decides through the electronic controls.

    Because there are no moving parts, the weapon is less likely to jam, and will presumably need less maintenance.

    Lashing many barrels together increases the number of rounds per second. Once fired, however, each spent barrel has to be reloaded.

    Starting in 2006 the company will demonstrate its prototypes with applicability that is especially likely to interest the U.S. military. The weapon system can be mounted on an unmanned ground combat vehicle, an unmanned aerial vehicle, and might be used as a defense against rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.

    Metal Storm's speed allows it to lay down a blinding wall of slugs that can intercept and pulverize incoming enemy fire, according to company CEO David Smith. As long as the grenade or mortar is fired from outside a range of about 50 meters or 162.5 feet and a Doppler radar is in use, a Metal Storm system could be an effective defense, he told UPI.

    Closer than that and there is just not time to react.

    "But if you are from 50 meters and beyond, if everything can work fast enough -- the radar -- there is enough time mathematically" to shoot down incoming fire, Smith said.

    At least 153 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq by enemy rockets and mortars since the start of the war. Nearly 2,000 have been wounded.

    The grenade launcher barrel can also carry less-than-lethal munitions, like small bean bags, sponge grenades or smoke. On Jan. 16, the Army awarded Metal Storm a $975,000 contract to further develop its non-lethal rounds.

    "Our so-called competition is (the) Mk19 - grenade machine gun," Smith said. "It's enormously heavy. It takes six people to carry it into a battlefield scene. It's not mobile.

    "But the military has had this transition out of big system warfighting into much lighter, higher firepower that can be carried into battle by individuals or light vehicles. Our guns have no moving parts -- so they have the same amount of fire power at significantly reduced weight ratio."

    Metal Storm technology has been under development for about a decade, but a series of small-business innovative research contracts awarded recently by the Department of Energy and the Army mean prototypes are now being produced and demonstrated.

    "We are to the point we can start providing prototypes. The Army is very, very parochial in how they buy weapon systems," Smith said. "But now we can put it into an actual environment."

    The company is also studying whether it can mount a Metal Storm weapon on a small helicopter, particularly looking at the recoil effect from the gun.

    Smith said such a system - deployable down to the squad level -- could be useful in a place like Iraq, where it's a common tactic for insurgents to launch a mortar and then run. By the time soldiers on foot or in a vehicle get to the launch site, the shooters are long gone. But a UAV quickly launched can see where the shooters run to, and if a gun is on board, can shoot at them.

    The Australian military is testing a Metal Storm gun of its own, the Advanced Individual Combat Weapon (AICW). The AICW combines both an assault rifle and a 40 mm grenade launcher in a single unit with a common trigger, allowing the shooter to choose which munition he wants to fire without having to refit his weapon. It also allows three grenades to be fired at once, whereas one is the only option in the current generation of weapons.

    Metal Storm Inc. will demonstrate a high-explosive munition with a 10-meter (32.5 feet) or burst radius in Singapore on Feb. 6, Smith said, and for the Army's Picatinny Arsenal and Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center later that month.

    © Copyright 2006 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved
     
  11. GunnySkox

    GunnySkox Member

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    Hehe.

    Typo #1: I'm pretty sure Joe Average Machinegun shoots at more like 600 rounds per minute, not sixty. :D

    ~GnSx
     
  12. WillBrayJr

    WillBrayJr Member

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    I seen that crap on the history channel. Just something else to waste money on that will never be used.
     
  13. Taipei Personality

    Taipei Personality Member

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  14. Satch

    Satch Member

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    new super

    During WWII a company came up with a gun that could shoot more than 3000 rds a min. and didn't use a powder propelent. It was a compressed air gun. The problem was the mechanisim took so much space and support units to run it it wasn't practial. The ammo was ball bearing types,and not to accurate.
     
  15. Gunpacker

    Gunpacker Member

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    Seems like the gatling guns can fire a sufficient number of rounds for most uses, and artillery rounds break into thousands of missles, so I am not sure how useful it is for infantry. However, the concept may lend itself to ship anti missle defense where logistics wouldn't be such a problem. Even the US has limits on how practical a weapon is in spite of firepower.
     
  16. beaucoup ammo

    beaucoup ammo Member

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    Preacherman

    I bought stock in the company about 5 years ago after seeing a demo tape. I just liked the thought of being part of something that can vaporize a tank!

    Take Care..enjoyed your range pics of some weeks back..I'm going today..
     
  17. TheEgg

    TheEgg Member

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    Seems to me the technology may be applicable to artillery units and point defense (think CWIS).

    Don't undestand how it would work down to the squad level yet.
     
  18. K-Romulus

    K-Romulus Member

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    At least this keeps Metalstorm busy and not working on the so-called "smart gun" . . . :uhoh:

    http://www.njit.edu/publicinfo/newsroom/Spotlight_smartgun.php

     
  19. Chrontius

    Chrontius Member

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    I give it six weeks until DVD Jon gets his paws on the firmware, and two months from then until the firmware has been cracked. :D
     
  20. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Member

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    Yep, that would be the ones.

    MD
     
  21. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

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    This would be why there's still M2 Brownings on US military vehicles. Heavy. Simple. Works.
     
  22. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

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    Sort of like the Phalanx with all the problems that's had...
     
  23. wolf_from_wv

    wolf_from_wv Member

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    Because there are no moving parts, the weapon is less likely to jam, and will presumably need less maintenance.


    The last part sounds like what they said about the M16 at first...

    ==============

    They could make it Windows based... Make it really reliable...

    ==============

    Excuse me... Can we stop shooting while I reload 240,000 rounds into my gun?

    the bullets come pre-stacked inside the barrel and can be shot all at once, or one at a time,

    I though full-auto was generally considered to be a waste...
     
  24. MDG1976

    MDG1976 Member

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    When will the civilian version be available?
     
  25. cosine

    cosine Member

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    Gives a whole new meaning to "ventilating" your target. :D
     
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