I frankly see no point in going for multiple rounds in a single barrel in ground forces use (possibly excepting mines and APS) because the weight of
clustering barrels quickly exceeds any realistic 'same recoil moment' accuracy improvements against such slow moving target sets as humans and
ground vehicles. Even as total per-engagement burst loadouts /vastly/ exceed the realistic carry weight of either vehicle or human based,
conventional magazine systems.
I suppose, if you needed to package an 'emergency self defense' mount, outside the armor sphere or on a weak ring/pintel mount, this could get you
there with a rapid/sacrificial pod applique. But even so, by the time you are doing the small-ambush type engagement from the side of a HEMTT truck,
you need to be able to sustain high rates for LONG PERIODS rather than saturate with a few well placed 'salvoes'.
There is a reason why pepper box approach is considered anachronistic you know.
As an airborne system, Metal Storm is slightly more interesting if only because it is functionally more akin to a Zellundische/Foerstersonde or Jagd
Faust type system wherein you have a huge kill mechanism increase in lethality inherent to a large caliber compensated by low installed weight and
(theoretically) limited weapon-mass recoil effects on local structure.
This can have knockon effects for the rest of an airframe design greatly compromised (volumetrically and by weight) by an extraneous if not vestigial
weapons system element. Specifically, there is no real cause to indebt huge amounts of real estate breaching a VLO enclosure with an effectively
external gun installation and coverplate while complicating internal systems layering with a 'do not intrude' (gun gas and heat) compartmentalized
magazine and feed well as well as their own driving hydraulic or electrical feed plumbing.
Not if the gun is fired all of once (in combat) every hundred missions or so and the IFFC elements of a linked sensor/autopilot allow you to /never
fire/ except when the range and angular line of sight rates guarantee a hit.
The big questions then being whether you can design a system which prepackages gun rounds in a sealed tube that can be 'barrel and all' inserted
into a recoil and HERO hardened mounting point on the airframe without ladders or stands. There to sit for days if not weeks without further
As well as whether the increased gas emissions of multiple rounds going off that fast can be handled by existing evacuation systems in the great
pressure differential of high altitude engagements.
And if the admittedly impressive 'tween-shots interval of firing is matched by round:round averaged ballistic performance such that uniform tracking
calculations can be applied to aiming.
While finally, the round size:recoil percentages (FS and JF fired balance masses) must match the local airframe limits to make sure the increased
lethality and reach of a clustered 30-40mm weapon possible without torqueing the airframe with much greater mechanical loads on structure.
Myself, the biggest potential inherent to this system is in A2A drones which can mount one barrel worth of longrange (=> 1.25nm) engagement capability
without having to effect terminal closure and maneuver for a missile-like direct proximity attack.
As well as in designing a platform which can function like a powered Vebal Syndrom device in the antisniper or 'micro-gunship' (AC) missions from
the smallest possible A-UAV enclosure for a given penetration and standoff effect.
Even /potentially/ in a followon Cruise Missile 'multipass' systems which doesn't require airframe seal to be broken as with current BGM-109D
cluster approach and all it's own (unaimed, saturative) collaterals difficulties.
i.e. If it's cheap, let it replace single or twin engagement capability in platforms which are too valuable to use guns for anything but a truly
last-ditch (big mistake) self-defense. And shouldn't have to otherwise pay the weight penalty of a fullup gun installation.
If it's /really/ cheap, stack it more densely in application to systems which you don't care about losing to a deliberate (trashfire) close approach
with a weapon that cannot be salvaged by insurgents, even if captured intact.
Komet Jagd Faust
[edit on 2-5-2006 by ch1466]