In April 2010 the U.S. subsidiary of the Australian company Metal Storm has won a $1.48 development contract, awarded by the U.S. Marine Corps, for the development and demonstration of Mission Payload Module for the Non Lethal Weapon System (MPM-NLWS). The system is based on Metal Storm’s FireStorm weapon system.
This weapon addresses the corps’ requirement for an effective crowd control weapon, enabling a single HMMWV to cover a wide area. The system and payload should be effective at distances of 30-150 meters, disperse over 25 m2 or more within 4-8 seconds and incapacitate 75% of personnel within this target area for a minimum duration of 20 seconds or up to five minutes. The Marines intend to buy an initial batch of 312 MPM-NLWS in the first acquisition spiral. For this contract we lead a team including BAE Systems.
Originally, FireStorm was designed as a four barrel, 24 shot automatic grenade launcher, based on the EOS multi-purpose remotely controlled weapon station. The Marines will be able to tailor the system to their requirements, stacking 10, 15, or even 30 barrels on each platform, depending on specific requirements. For the demonstration testing the NLWS will be attached to the overhead gun shield also known as the Marine Corps Transparent Armored Gun Shield or MCTAGS. The FireStorm can fire both lethal and non-lethal munitions. For the non lethal munitions, different munitions could be used to deliver a wide range of effects, with frangible impact node, irritant, cargo rounds and advanced airburst flash-bang projectiles. The same system can also fire lethal grenades as well.