ARLINGTON, Va., 5 Dec. 2005. Defense technology company Metal Storm Ltd. today announced that it had been awarded a two-year contract worth approximately $1 million from the U.S. Department of Defense for the research and development of a remotely operated weapon system.
Under the Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract, Metal Storm will develop, produce and evaluate an anti-personnel, unattended, weapon pod and controller using the company's proprietary electronically initiated munitions delivery systems.
Funding has been provided by the U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and is a continuation of the Phase I Anti-RPG SBIR which was completed in January 2005.
The weapon pod and controller will be integrated into a command and control system developed under the Network-integrated Remotely Operated Weapons system project, which is sponsored by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
An innovative weapon mount/aiming platform will also be developed, allowing the weapon to be mounted on various types of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs).
"The objective of the contract is to validate the application of the unique Metal Storm weapon system with various unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs)" said Metal Storm CEO David Smith. "This contract also highlights the importance of our focus on having a range of certified munitions to use with our 40mm weapon systems."
The contract is the latest in a series of agreements announced by Metal Storm which are aimed at commercializing its 40mm technology.
The company is also awaiting confirmation of a separate Phase II SBIR contract with the U.S. Army for design and development of less-than-lethal munitions for Crowd Control applications. This contract award is expected to be confirmed shortly and is worth approximately Au$1.22 million.
The Army's small business innovation research (SBIR) program is a Congressionally-mandated institution established in 1982 (with subsequent reauthorizations in 1986, 1992, and 2000 until 2008) to increase the participation of small businesses in federal research and development (R&D).
The goal of the dual-use SBIR Program is to tap into the innovativeness and creativity of the small business community to help meet government R&D objectives, and help the small companies commercialize products for the private sector.
The program conducts a project through three phases. Proposals submitted in response to the solicitation topics are competitively selected for Phase I awards, where the company must prove the feasibility of its concept within a six-month, $70,000 effort.
Successful Phase I companies are invited to compete for Phase II funding by submitting Phase II proposals near the end of their Phase I efforts. Phase II is a substantial R&D effort, up to $730,000 over two years, and is intended to result in a dual-use prototype product or service meeting the requirements of the original solicitation topic and which can be made commercially viable.
Phase III represents the commercialization phase of the program, where the successful company markets its products either to the government or in the commercial sector. No SBIR funds can be used in Phase III.
Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWARSYSCOM) is located in San Diego, Calif. and is the Navy's premier C4ISR (command, control, communications, and computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) command for acquisition and life-cycle management of communications and warfare systems. SPAWAR is one of the Navy's four major acquisition commands and has 7,600 employees.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) coordinates, executes, and promotes the science and technology programs of the Navy and Marine Corps through schools, universities, government laboratories, and nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
The ONR's mission is to plan, foster and encourage scientific research in recognition of its paramount importance as related to the maintenance of future naval power, forced entry capability, and the preservation of national security.
Under the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Department of Defense resources, expertise and capabilities are combined to ensure the United States remains ready and able to address the present and future WMD threat.
Metal Storm Ltd. is a defense technology company engaged in the development of electronically initiated ballistics systems using its unique "stacked projectile" technology. The company is headquartered in Brisbane, Australia and incorporated in the U.S., with an office in Washington DC. The company has invented a ballistics technology that has no known conventional equivalent. Metal Storm is working with government agencies and departments, as well as industry, to develop a variety of platforms utilizing its non-mechanical, electronically fired stacked ammunition system. For more information, see www.metalstorm.com.