After successfully demonstrating at one of the world's largest non-lethal weapons events, Metal Storm Limited and its collaboration partners were invited by the US Military to conduct urgent, live fire demonstrations of their next generation non-lethal weapons system at Camp Roberts California during the team's North American visit.
Over 200 weapons specialists and operators from international law enforcement and military forces witnessed the successful live fire demonstration of the Managed Lethality Grenade Launcher (MLGLS) at the North American Technology Demonstration (NATD) event in Ottawa, Canada.
The live fire demonstrations that followed at Camp Roberts California were also a complete success.
Earlier this year, Metal Storm announced it was collaborating with the Australian Defence Science & Technology Organisation (DSTO) and Airtronic USA Inc, to further develop a prototype 40mm MLGLS, and to demonstrate it at NATD in order to gauge market interest.
The MLGLS supersedes conventional non-lethal weapons as it can automatically fire its ammunition at different muzzle velocities depending on the distance from the weapon to the target.
Metal Storm CEO Dr Lee Finniear said that the collaboration had been successful beyond his expectations.
"Due to the commitment of the collaboration team we expected to have a successful demonstration at NATD" he said. "However, we have been very pleased with the level of enquiry from International and US agencies, and also the invitation to demonstrate the system to US Forces".
The MLGLS is critically important in the field of non-lethal weapons. Conventional non-lethal rounds have a fixed muzzle velocity and can only be used safely in a very narrow range bracket - if a target is too close the rounds can be lethal, too far away and the impact has little effect.
In practice operators can only use conventional non-lethal ammunition in certain restricted situations and must take extraordinary care to estimate range and effect while simultaneously having to manage a potentially dangerous conflict situation.
The MLGLS eliminates this issue by automatically sensing the range to target and selecting the muzzle velocity and kinetic energy of its projectiles at the moment of firing. Using just a single ammunition type, it provides an effective yet non-lethal impact from very short to extended ranges.
At the NATD live fire demonstration the MLGLS was fired through an accurate muzzle velocity measurement device. Using exactly the same ammunition type, the system was demonstrated firing non-lethal blunt-impact ammunition at 75 metres per second (m/s), 125 m/s and 150m/s depending on the range set to target.
Metal Storm is collaborating on the MLGLS commercialisation as it has the potential to use the same high precision, safety critical and ultra-fast electronic fire control systems that the Company has developed for its 3GL, MAUL and FireStorm weapon systems.
Dr Finniear commented, "The problem the MLGLS solves is one that has been plaguing the non-lethal community for many years. The MLGLS brings a new level of non-lethal capability to operators. Importantly it also has the added advantage of being attached to a conventional 40mm grenade launcher, so the operator can also use the entire range of conventional 40mm ammunition without having to carry an extra weapon."
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