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Jay
25 Jan 06,, 01:16
http://www.therawfeed.com/2006/01/us-army-to-test-super-gun.html

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/images/ORD_Metal_Storm_on_Talon_UGV_lg.jpg

The U.S. Army plans to test next month a SUPER GUN from a company appropriately called Metal Storm that can shoot 240,000 bullets per minute. The gun has no moving parts. Among its many tricks, the gun can actually shoot down enemy mortar fire. I want one.

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

Jay
25 Jan 06,, 01:16
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 family of guns that can fire at speeds of up to 240,000 rounds per minute, albeit in short bursts.

A Metal Storm gun of any size -- from a 9mm handgun 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 dramatically increases the number of rounds fired per second. Once fired, however, each spent barrel has to be reloaded.

Its 40mm answer to the MK19 - the current automatic grenade launcher in use by the U.S. military - chambers up to 15 rounds in the barrel at once. They can be squeezed off one at a time or fired almost simultaneously. According to the company, this gives the Metal Storm gun 4,000 times the rounds-on-target capability of the MK19, which has a rapid fire rate of 60 rounds per second.

Starting in 2006 the company will demonstrate its prototypes with applicability that is especially likely to interest the U.S. military. The grenade launching 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 means 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 unmanned 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) 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.

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

Gun Grape
25 Jan 06,, 02:04
I don't know. We have been hearing all kinds of hype from metalstorm since 01.
They havn't lived up to the hype yet.

I'd hate to do the logistics on this.

Defcon 6
25 Jan 06,, 02:11
S.w.o.r.d.s

TopHatter
25 Jan 06,, 03:39
S.w.o.r.d.s
S.c.i.m.i.t.a.r.s.

lemontree
25 Jan 06,, 09:46
I want one of these when my daughter turns 13.

Officer of Engineers
25 Jan 06,, 11:09
You might want a set of ear plugs instead.

Commando
25 Jan 06,, 12:15
Metal Strom is situated in Brisbane, Australia and is very reliable. This could be it.

Officer of Engineers
25 Jan 06,, 12:26
I really do not see any advantage this system has to offer over current systems. It's essentially a fancy shotgun.

Bill
25 Jan 06,, 14:23
I don't know. We have been hearing all kinds of hype from metalstorm since 01.
They havn't lived up to the hype yet.

I'd hate to do the logistics on this.

I saw a demo film of a metal storm unit set to a firing rate of 1,000,000rpm.

Impressive, to say the least.

Swift Sword
25 Jan 06,, 14:43
I really do not see any advantage this system has to offer over current systems. It's essentially a fancy shotgun.

CAVEAT: I am a satisfied Metalstorm shareholder (MTSX on the NASDAQ).

Sir,

While the Metalstorm concept is certainly not everything it has been hyped to be, it does appear to have enough potential applications to be worth pursuing.

The big advantage of the Metalstorm concept, obviously, is that it does away with the weight, complexity and cost of a breech block.

This advantage increases in direct proportion to projectile size.

Metalstorm is currently committed to weaponization of its technology around the 40mm grenade. The company's emphasis and US DOD funding is to develop systems for UAVs and other remote/robotic platforms. Given the weight and volume advantages of a 40mm Metalstorm system, it has the appearances of being the ideal weapon for these applications.

Mr. O'Dwyer's Metalstorm concept does offer some really good opportunities for clean slate approaches to some infantry weapons.

As projectile size increases, so does the advantage of packaging the projectiles and charges in the "roman candle" manner. Metalstorm pattern grenade launchers should certainly merit close attention even if there is some disagreement as to the system's merit for a wide basis of issue point target weapon.

When we look at alternative projectile shapes combined with the Metalstorm system, there are some very realistic possibilities for multibarreled point and area target combinations that could be made in a very compact envelope.

Why does a rifle/gl combo have to be an over/under combination?

Why not develop annular projectiles ala ring air foil grenades? Mate them to the Metalstorm system and nest one barrel axially inside of the other. This would make for a remarkably compact weapon with substantial capability.

Such an annular, repeating grenade launcher might even be adapted to replace the existing forend arrangements on the M4 or other Armalite pattern weapons in an effort to combine proven, familiar point target engagement capability with a repeating area target weapon without changing the general dimensional envelope of the whole system.

Naturally, a ring air foil grenade would preclude a shaped charge warhead, but a lightweight HE fragmenting grenade should pose no problems. However, a dual barreled weapon might be contrived to address the AP issue if we move to another position that has been articulated for the future of small arms: move away from solid projectiles entirely and rely on explosives to defeat OPFOR body armor and partially defiladed troops.

In this instance, a compact, double barreled grenade launcher might have an axial barrel with a few shaped charge grenades while the annular barrel contained our hypothetical ring air foil HE fragmenting grenade.

An identical arrangement might also be adapted to non lethal applications by axially packaging irritant agent projectiles and annullarly packaging a bean bag type of thingy.

Some other Metalstorm possibilities:

1. Liberator type disposable weapons, especially if the firing circuits might be burned via satellite signal if the shipment falls into the wrong hands (might be a partial remedy to loyalty problems with colaborationist paramilitary units or carpet bagger security opportunists of questionable vetting);

2. a slightly subcaliber, multishot insert and snap on control module to convert the widely distributed M203 and M79 pattern weapons into repeating grenade launchers which can be converted back to existing 40 mm by simply unloading the insert and reloading with the desired single round;

3. how about a disposable three or four shot HEDP grenade launcher "I'll throw it in the gutter and go get another" type arrangement?

4. the electronic firing circuitry of the Metalstorm concept lends itself quite nicely to the DOJ's "smart gun" concept for police, corrections officers, air marshalls, airline pilots or others who may have to carry weapons in situations where disarming or loss could be catastrophic. Metalstrom is already pursuing this angle with mock ups and prototypes.

The company's website is www.metalstorm.com and they have conceptual ideas as well as the usual PR hype but it is certainly worth a look. The site has photos and video footage of firing demonstrations.

As near as I can tell, the biggest problem in advancing the Metalstorm concept is the company's zeal in the quest to defend its intellectual property rights. It makes them difficult to work with and may be indicative of larger issues but only time will tell.

Best Regards,

William

Blademaster
25 Jan 06,, 14:45
I saw a demo film of a metal storm unit set to a firing rate of 1,000,000rpm.

Impressive, to say the least.

Not so impressive when you are the resupply guy. Imagine having to reload it every goddamn minute!!!

leib10
25 Jan 06,, 15:04
Plus finding enough ammo to keep them active would be a *****. I don't think the Army would be able to keep them supplied for long thanks to the enormous ammunition expenditure.

Swift Sword
25 Jan 06,, 15:22
Not so impressive when you are the resupply guy. Imagine having to reload it every goddamn minute!!!

I think that you are misunderstanding the concept.

That million round a minute figure is exrapolated from tests and would not really apply in the real world.

This type of ROF makes for short, dense bursts of the type that are very handy for certain saturating, suppressive fires and CIWS applications.

Besides, as I pointed out in my post above, the beauty of the Metalstorm concept is in packaging and volumetric efficiency.

William

Officer of Engineers
25 Jan 06,, 15:51
William,

As nice as all your suggestions are, it will never happen. Hell, we're not going to the 6mm class ammo just because of the headaches and heartaches. Chances of even more radical changes as presented by Metal Storm are practically nil.

sniperdude411
26 Jan 06,, 01:04
Not so impressive when you are the resupply guy. Imagine having to reload it every goddamn minute!!!

You think they're gonna actually fire one for a whole minute?

Metal Storm isn't the greatest idead IMO, since we really don't have such a need for one. It won't be much more able to shoot-down incoming mortars than the latest modified Phalanx systems.

Jay
26 Jan 06,, 03:00
Metal Storm isn't the greatest idead IMO, since we really don't have such a need for one. It won't be much more able to shoot-down incoming mortars than the latest modified Phalanx systems.

so can you lug a Phalanx system ??

Swift Sword
26 Jan 06,, 14:00
William,

As nice as all your suggestions are, it will never happen. Hell, we're not going to the 6mm class ammo just because of the headaches and heartaches. Chances of even more radical changes as presented by Metal Storm are practically nil.

Morning, Sir,

Seeing as how I have a vested interest :) in the system, let me continue my pitch for purposes of friendly debate and infomative speculation:

When a wholesale grocer from Brisbane started working up prototypes for what was to become Metalstorm in his garage more than a decade ago, the idea of increasing the efficiency of firearms by having them loaded like a roman candle had already been tried every now and then for five centuries. The Metalstorm idea is not particularly radical.

Mr. O'dwyer was told that the chances of his project going anywhere were "practically nil". In just a decade, what people said was not workable for half a millenium was developed into what appears to be a perfectly viable weapon system. The Metalstorm technology is not particularly radical

The US Government has several agencies funding development and trials:

1. DOJ (smart guns)
2. ARDEC (40 mm systems, arming UAVs and other unmanned platforms)
3. DARPA (sniper rifles and other goodies)
4. USN (CIWS and anti torpedo systems)

The Austrailian government has funded some development and testing as well.

Too, big players in the North American defense business including LMT and ATK have done some testing.

It would be fair to say that Metalstorm has gone somewhere already compared with a myriad of vaporware systems and is certainly developed enough to go further.

Some further advantages of the Metalstorm system:

1. Once fully weaponized, the Metalstorm system almost certainly will be several orders of magnitude cheaper to purchase than equivalent conventional systems.

2. The Third World is a great potential market for the Metalstorm system. Metalstorm does not require complex manufacturing techniques, advanced materials, precise heat treating of large batches of small parts, etc. The firing circuitry of Metalstorm systems can be very simple, crude and cheap compared to the advanced, computerized units currently being tested by the US; consider Mr. O'dwyer's origninal home workshop units.

3. The drill of arms for a Metalstorm weapon is greatly simplified compared to any existing system which radically reduces training time and expense allowing for recruits to spend more time on marksmanship, field craft and soldiering. Combine this fact with the ease of manufacturing and potentially low unit cost and the Metalstorm system looks very desirable for anyone who might want to raise large formations in a hurry from scratch.

4. Ammuntion production is greatly simplified as all of the operations required for drawing and forming cases are unnecessary. An added benefit to the caseless Metalstorm system is that in the event of a prolonged, large conflict or total war, a nation using it will be able to allocate its copper and tin to other war uses rather than litter the battlefield with these vital materials.

5. Against any equivalent and competing system, Metalstorm has distinct advantages from the standpoint of Logistics. More weapons can be shipped for the weight and space, less need for armorers and fewer spares, less break bulk points between the factory and when the rounds impact the enemy, etc.

6. Metalstorm has some potential applications in the commercial/civilian sector. For instance, instead of an ordinary nail gun, a construction worker might have a multi barrelled unit with each containing a different type of fastener which would be available at the flick of a switch while alleviating the need for a compressor or running back to the truck for a different tool. Metalstorm's idea for airport and high rise firefighting equipments also appear to have a certain amount of merit.

Say, if you really want a 6 mm assualt rifle, I'll bet a fiver that Metalstorm can get one in your hands and loaded with less lead time and at a lower unit cost than the next guy can ;).

Respectfully disagreeing with your professioanl opinion I feel that the chances of Metalstorm going somewhere are distinctly better than nil even if the US does not pursue the concept (but I think we will for some systems though I do not beleive it will be for a wide basis issue point target weapon).

William

Swift Sword
26 Jan 06,, 14:14
You think they're gonna actually fire one for a whole minute?

Metal Storm isn't the greatest idead IMO, since we really don't have such a need for one. It won't be much more able to shoot-down incoming mortars than the latest modified Phalanx systems.

Hi,

You do not fire a CIWS for a minute, only short bursts. In fact, the existing Mk15 20 mm system you mentioned, the Phalanx, is, IIRC, speced for 4,500 rds per minute yet the ammuntion drum holds only a 1,000 rounds.

A metalstorm based CIWS would in all likelihood could be made lighter and less costly than the current phalanx system while occupying the same or less volume.

This means that more platforms can mount them which translates into a stronger, more layered anti missle architecture. Remember, in many cases, the platform shooting at the incoming shells or missles is not going to be the target of said fires so more platforms translates into greater protective coverage.

Too, the greatly simplified construction and operation of a Metalstorm CIWS would redcuce maintencance and have less down time.

Have a good afternoon,

William

Ishapore41
26 Jan 06,, 14:22
The aussies supposedly have a chain gun that can fire 1,000,000 rounds per minute.

Bluesman
26 Jan 06,, 14:35
Maybe it won't be fielded, but it DEFINITELY needs to be evaluated and studied. THe R&D could lead to any number of other, more viable concepts, and there is value in understanding what could eventually be an adversary system.

Officer of Engineers
26 Jan 06,, 14:56
William,

Nice sales pitch but a few things still go against you.

AK-47s ain't rocket science anymore. How many African countries are making them? Making a simpler AK-47 (ie based on Metalstorm) ain't going to penetrate that market.

We're talking the US here. Cost is a factor?

However, I will say going to Metalstorm is definetely is going to be more expensive than going to the 6mm round. You have to replace all the training manuals and procedures that are already written down.

leib10
26 Jan 06,, 15:07
Maybe it won't be fielded, but it DEFINITELY needs to be evaluated and studied. THe R&D could lead to any number of other, more viable concepts, and there is value in understanding what could eventually be an adversary system.

I agree with Blues on this one. Perhaps a cheaper, more feasible option can be developed from Metal Storm because adoption of the system as it is does not seem likely at this time. Conversion training and keeping the damned things supplied would cost far too much to justify anything.

Swift Sword
26 Jan 06,, 16:19
William,

Nice sales pitch but a few things still go against you.

Yeah, I guess I can't close em'all :).


AK-47s ain't rocket science anymore. How many African countries are making them? Making a simpler AK-47 (ie based on Metalstorm) ain't going to penetrate that market.

Clarification: I was not thinking of an AK based Metalstorm thingy, just a new weapon that is a tube full of charges and balls with a handful of electric parts that in all likelihood are available at Radio Shack (not that there are such stores in Africa but they do make and reapair radios and TVs in some of those countries so there should be no shortage of bits an pieces).

One could use existing production and stocks of AK parts for front sights, back sights stocks and whatnot if one really wanted.

[CYNICAL MODE ON]

Since many countries in Africa use conscripts (often children) and essentially consider such infantry disposable one would think that disposable weapons would be the perfect accessory.

Too, to protect their own regime from a coup, these thugocrats can, if they invest a little more per unit, have the capability to beam a signal that will render the weapons inoperable. I think that would be a real deal closer given the paranoia of some of the potential customers.

In a land of instantly deactivated military weapons, the man with one AK will remain King! :biggrin:

[CYNICAL MODE OFF]


We're talking the US here. Cost is a factor?

It is going to be sooner or later if it is not now.

Moving beyond the discussion of the technology at hand for a moment, I would like to touch on the broader issue of military spending.

When the US went on the War Path a few years back, all of the so called Rogue States spent between them something like $90B on military budgets so lets say $100B for sake of convenience.

At that time the, the US authorized a $475B defense package--say $500B for purposes of argument. We are essentially spending $5 for protection against every $1 of threat. I suspect that this is going to be problematical at some point in the not too distant future.


However, I will say going to Metalstorm is definetely is going to be more expensive than going to the 6mm round. You have to replace all the training manuals and procedures that are already written down.

Look on the bright side: given the simplicity of construction and drill of arms as well as the reduced maitenance offered by the Metalstorm system, the new manuals will be shorter, lighter and cheaper than the current book.

As to procedures Metalstorm arguably does offer an upgrade in soldier proofing. :tongue:

Regards,

William

Bill
27 Jan 06,, 17:52
Plus finding enough ammo to keep them active would be a *****. I don't think the Army would be able to keep them supplied for long thanks to the enormous ammunition expenditure.

The cyclic rate is fully adjustable, from semi to 1,000,000rpm.

Not a bad feature to have.

Bill
27 Jan 06,, 17:52
Maybe it won't be fielded, but it DEFINITELY needs to be evaluated and studied. THe R&D could lead to any number of other, more viable concepts, and there is value in understanding what could eventually be an adversary system.

Agreed.

sniperdude411
02 Feb 06,, 23:03
I could agree upon that, too.
I still don't see the use of it, though. Someone enlighten me.