Metal Storm on the verge of insolvency

mst-tfb-tm

Publicly listed Australian firm Metal Storm has run out of operating cash and credit after much needed investment funds have failed to materialize. The Australian reports

The Brisbane-based weapons maker said this morning it has again given the first tranche of Assure Fast Holdings’ $US35m funding due 7pm Brisbane time last night (8pm AEDT) another 24 hours and that it was now “testing the issue of solvency each day”.

“The company has reduced its day to day expenditure to remain solvent for as long as possible to allow as much time as possible for this funding to be received,” Metal Storm said in a statement.

Metal Storm share price (ASX:MST)

It would be sad if this company is forced to close and sell off their technology when it is just starting to show real promise.

MetalStorm 3GL Grenade Launcher (bullpup configuration)

Many thanks to Daniel E. Watters for the tip.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Matt Groom

    They need to release the MAUL so that they can actually make some MOOLAH, cause I’ll buy one, and so will lots of other people who can’t buy things like high explosives.

  • Pete

    Not surprising, to much “bling” and too few “bangs”. Blind devotion to high-tech, Technocracy, does that to people, corporations and nations.

  • Lance

    The companies products where never adopted to militaries Its no wonder they went out of business. Mabie H&K will buy them out?

  • http://www.hellinahandbasket.net James R. Rummel

    On the one hand, I don’t want to sound too critical. The good folks at Metal Storm thought outside of the box, were brilliant in overcoming technical hurdles, and produced a truly innovative system.

    But I have always thought that this system was a flashy gimmick, and nothing more.

    Multi barrel guns, each barrel packed with projectiles. Can anyone say “Really, really heavy?” If a traditional machine gun runs dry, one or two guys can slap a new belt of ammo in while crouching down behind partial cover in the machine gun nest and stay in the fight. What would it take to reload a Metal Storm gun? A crew with a fork lift, I’m thinking. A crew, with a forklift, out in the open!

    And how do you reload the boxes? You know, the really heavy boxes that consist of a bunch of barrels packed with a bunch of projectiles per barrel. Ship them back to the factory? Yeah, that’s going to cost less than the weapons systems we use now!

    And they fire the projectiles using an electrical charge. What, they use batteries? So it is even heavier, then? More weight to be humped out to the back of beyond, which is where the firepower is really needed? How come smart gun technology isn’t around? I thought the big problem was that batteries might lose their charge, and so are way too unreliable to be trusted when you have to trust your life. Why is Metal Storm different?

    There is a reason why all the governments of the Free World didn’t line up to buy this technology. It is unproven, takes a different and more elaborate support structure than the weapons already deployed, and doesn’t offer any significant increase in performance except in some extremely narrow circumstances.

    Besides, what is wrong with what we use now? Aren’t they reliable? Don’t they work?

  • Carl

    In my amateur estimation I doubt that this technology is actually better than traditional ones, save for certain specialized needs (missile defense perhaps?).

    And even if it really is better I think the improvement over existing technology would have to be very big in order for it to succeed in the conservative firearms market.

    But I agree everyone would be better off if it did succeed. More competition is a good thing.

  • jdun1911

    Most of the Metal Storm products are solutions seeking a problem.

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    Another set of news articles has just come out saying AFHL has still not come through with the payment.

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-business/metal-storm-says-afhl-funds-hold-up-20091204-k9ih.html

  • subby

    This is what happens when you base yourself in Australia, weapon entrepreneurs be warned.

  • subby

    Their base technology patents are sound and as soon as they are sold off to some American company get ready to see, electrically fired projectiles become the norm. (The energy they use to fire the projectiles is really small, its not like they will need huge battery packs.)

  • Pedro

    Metal Storm almost duplicates the history of HK’s “caseless” ammunition of the 1980′s.
    Much promise, very high tech, glamourous, but ultimately a solution to a question that had never been asked.

    I have followed Metal Storm over the years (and been a shareholder) and I believe there is a future for the technology in ship’s anti-missile defence systems, and thinking w-a-a-ay into the future as space borne weapons systems.

    I can’t see a lot of future in small arms adaptions or the civilian market other than as a curiosity.
    Some very valid points made about the logistics tail needed to support this weapon system in comments above.

  • rubbershotgun

    what do you mean the G11 caseless was a solution to a question that had never been asked?

    im no historian but didn’t we change from large caliber rifles to smaller .223 rifles because we found out that our soldiers were most effective when they could just spray more bullets downrage using lighter rounds?

    it seems to me that the G11 was a pretty damn good solution but unfortunately it arrived at the wrong time (no more soviets, too costly to swap out old rifles for new ones)

  • http://www.hellinahandbasket.net James R. Rummel

    “…I believe there is a future for the technology in ship’s anti-missile defence systems,…”

    Doesn’t the Phalanx CIWS work? And I thought an SM-3 missile was used to shoot down enemy missiles and planes further out.

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters
  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters
    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Daniel, Thanks for the links. Looks like they will be open for a few more days. I feel for the employees, most of which probably are not getting paid.

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters
  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    It looks like Metal Storm is finally giving up hope of ever receiving payment from AFHL.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/metal-storm-funding-failure/story-e6frg9no-1225810897426

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Daniel, thanks for the update. It really looked like there were not going to get it. Going on about how various holidays were the reason was a load of nonsense. A company planning to bail out another does not wait until they are dead.

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    Some thought that AFHL was stringing them along on purpose so that Metal Storm would go bankrupt. Then AFHL could snatch up the remains at a bargain price.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Daniel, good point, I did not think of that. I don’t know how DoD research contracts work, but I know they are very particular who they allow to own technology. I would be surprised if any of the IP can be transferred without approval.

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    Metal Storm has halted trading until at least Wednesday pending an announcement regarding its funding negotiations.

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/business/990104/metal-storm-goes-into-trading-halt

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Daniel, damnit!!!

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    Don’t give up yet, Steve.

    Metal Storm just announced that it has entered into an agreement for an A$20.2 million equity line of credit from an UK-based investment fund.

    http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Metal-Storm-Limited-ASX-MST-1097170.html

  • http://www.bobergarms.com Arne Boberg

    Their namesake technology is essentially a muzzle-loader. Yes, they can shoot fast for a brief moment, but then what? Without sustainable fire, i.e. an easy way to feed or reload, the core technology has very limited use. It appears that this was missed from the very beginning.