|Manufacturer:||Metal Storm Limited|
|Product type:||Weapons & Weapon Systems|
AREA DENIAL WEAPON SYSTEM
Finding an alternative to conventional landmines has become a high defence priority for governments around the world. The Ottawa Convention, which came into effect in 1999, prohibits signatories from producing and using anti-personnel landmines, and requires signatories to destroy national stockpiles of anti-personnel landmines by 2006. The Convention also requires that any minefield replacement system implemented must have a "man-in-the-loop", be command-initiated and not a victim-initiated indiscriminate weapon. By mid-2001 the Convention had been signed by 133 countries.
Metal Storm technology as a minefield replacement system is now undergoing serious evaluation by the Australian Army. The research and development work conducted with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) in Australia in recent years has progressed this concept to a stage where a Metal Storm Area Denial Weapon System (ADWS) is much closer to being a viable military reality.
Being developed in a program announced in July 2000 is a system based on the integration of multiple barrels grouped together in Metal Storm pods, a sensor system and a man-in-the-loop capability for command and control, fully compliant with the Ottawa Convention.
The Metal Storm ADWS landmine replacement system differs from conventional minefields in that it places no active explosives in or on the ground. Rather, the system works by positioning boxes or "pods" of massed barrels containing various payloads, which may be ammunition, cameras or non-lethal ammunition. A series of pods are placed on the ground and strategically positioned to cover a sector of a target area. Electronic sensors are positioned throughout the target area. The system is linked by transmitters to a single control unit, controlled and operated by the man-in-the-loop. Should the sensors in the zone alert the controller that there has been an entry or intrusion into the target area, the controller can determine the action required. If confirmed by the operator that the intrusion is a threat, each pod may then be electronically programmed by the operator to fire the appropriate response to suit the threat.
The Metal Storm ADWS minefield replacement system has many advantages over a conventional minefield:
- it can be easily adapted to fire a wide range of payloads including sensors, cameras, and lethal and non-lethal munitions
- the strength of response by the system can be determined by the operator and be varied to suit the threat
- fully Ottawa Convention compliant - man-in-the-loop, command initiated system and not a victim-initiated, indiscriminate weapon
- the fuse for the Metal Storm ADWS projectiles is being designed with a high probability of function (99.9%) with self-destruct function after a period of time, hence extremely low unexploded ordnance (UXO) levels
- all functions of the system are determined and performed by a controller
- the system is portable and when removed from an area after hostilities have ceased, no explosive devices are left in or on the ground, leaving the area clean with no threat remaining to civilians