Metal Storm, Brisbane, Australia: Metal Storm has released information regarding a successful firing of the Area Denial Weapon System (ADWS) Capability Demonstrator which was undertaken at the Port Wakefield Proof and Experimental Range near Adelaide, Australia.
The ADWS consortium project is sponsored by the Australian Department of Defence, and led by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), and includes Metal Storm as a major consortium member. Tenix Defence Industries was a significant contractor to the project.
Australia is signatory to the 1997 Ottawa Treaty that bans the use of Anti-Personnel Land Mines (APL). Through the banning of APLs, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) needed to identify a more appropriate weapon system to deny access by a dismounted enemy to large areas of ground. The ADWS Project was established to investigate and demonstrate weapon system concepts that may provide an alternative to APLs.
The ADWS aims to demonstrate area denial technology that can overcome the indiscriminate nature of land mines by addressing the requirement for a human-in-the-loop to initiate the weapon system. The ADWS concept provides an option that is Ottawa Treaty Compliant.
ADWS is based on integrating Metal Storm 40 mm stacked projectiles into a multi-barrel pod syst em and linking them with intrusion sensors and a fire control system.
The concept demonstration system comprised four weapon pods, each containing four barrels, networked and linked to a command and control station. Each demonstrator pod has the capability to fire up to 20 projectiles in varying user-selectable combinations including rates of fire, barrel selection and firing sequence.
The live fire demonstration used inert projectiles, and engaged simulated targets based on information provided by a computerised sensor system. Firing responses included a range of combinations from single shots through to a rapid-fire burst of 2O projectiles at a rate of 1500 rounds per minute. The pods are able to fire at a maximum rate of 6,000 rounds per minute. More barrels can be added to each pod to increase payload as required.
Metal Storm's Chief Executive Officer Mr David Smith, said the demonstration of the ADWS highlighted the viability of the company's stacked round, multiple propellant load technology in the military area denial role. “The conclusion of the ADWS project provides us with the opportunity to evaluate the commercial opportunities flowing from the project outcomes.”
“In addition to land mine replacement and area denial applications, the ADWS concept may have potential for other uses, such as airfield defence and defence of ships against close-in terrorist attack,” Mr Smith added.