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China Wants Weapons Whizzes

Forget buying arms — the real way to develop your military is buying arms designers.
RMB.jpg The seems to be the verdict of China’s People’s Liberation Army, anyway.
Remember the Australian Metal Storm system? You know, the one that fires more than a million rounds a minute? You might remember Sharon Weinberger used it last month as an illustrative example of her new Stupid Weapons Score Card. Presumably it scores pretty high on the scale
Well, I guess the Chinese Government disagrees with that assessment, since they reportedly offered the systems designer more than $100 million dollars to move to Beijing, after repeated attempts to by various pieces of equipment [and after Al-Qaeda just put out a recruiting call to all nuclear scientists with a jihadist bent — ed]. Its hard to understand why he didnt head north to the Middle Kingdom after assurances like this: We dont need any Metal Storm weapons, we dont need any of the paperwork, none of that. What we want is you.
If nothing else, I guess its good to be wanted.
Matthew Tompkins

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Robot.Economist October 3, 2006 at 2:50 pm

So the PLA is picking up our sloppy seconds? I might be a smarter move to go after a successful defense company. Metal Storm was a gimick company whose technology never caught on.
I don’t see what buying a Western arms firm gets the Chinese military. The Department of Commerce and Department of State would probably catch them trying to use it as a front for exporting. The mark of China would also follow any firm competing for contracts in the U.S. or Europe.
Maybe they need the firm’s business expertise? Most of China’s arms manufacturers are state-owned enterprises, which hemorage money pretty badly. Corruption between the uniforms that run the PLA and the former uniforms in the Chinese “defense industry” is pretty bad too.
Definitely an interest, but puzzling bit of news.

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BT October 3, 2006 at 5:08 pm

I agree. It might be useful to keep the rioting laborers and farmers inline though.
I will say the only bad idea is the one that doesn’t make you any money, more power to Metal Storm.

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Tim October 3, 2006 at 9:01 pm

It must be a lot harder to recognize junk science when you’re reading in a foreign language. It wouldn’t be the first time a foreign country was fooled by propaganda from westerners experienced in selling dubious technology projects. Maybe they just liked the brochures, and didn’t take the time to understand the limitations as they should have.

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David Hambling October 4, 2006 at 11:15 am

Nothing stupid about Metal Storm - it’s not the answer to everything but, much like rocket pods, it has advantages over conventional tube-launched rounds for some applications. There are obvious advantages for smoke dischargers, for example.
And is it being adopted for certain applications in the US and elsewhere.

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Matthew October 5, 2006 at 5:39 am

You’ve missed the point of metal storm, like most defence concepts, its a platform to build off, we might not need a million bullets a minute, but later on, there might be a need for a high rate of fire in a weapons platform, Metal storm is weapon in progress. The chinese can get their own hands on a really cool gun, hands off mine!

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Will October 5, 2006 at 3:34 pm

Two things, the Metal Storm has advanced technology that can be engineered into various forms. China has more money than sense right now, and it’s only getting worse.
Second, you have to understand that a large portion of the intelectuals in China plagerise a large marjority of their research. So, Chinese weapon designers may not be thinking out of the box. This is purely an assumption on my part, but I think the Chinese are smart enough to know that communism is not the best enviorment for innovation.
Finally, regardless of their intentions with the Metal Storm, China is positioning itself as a Superpower. They have to be stopped.

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HMMM October 13, 2006 at 6:37 pm

China should give up communism, if they weren’t and they agreed to all the treaties, i’m sure China would have metal storm and whatever.

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wisperingdeath February 1, 2007 at 4:32 am

METAL STORM never caught on?Are you kidding?They have just brought out 50.cal sniper gun that shoots 3 rounds off before muzzle flip!!

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wisperingdeath February 1, 2007 at 4:35 am

METAL STORM never caught on?Are you kidding?They have just brought out 50.cal sniper gun that shoots 3 rounds off before muzzle flip!!

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wisperingdeath February 1, 2007 at 4:38 am

METAL STORM never caught on?Are you kidding?They have just brought out 50.cal sniper gun that shoots 3 rounds off before muzzle flip!!

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beavis October 30, 2007 at 8:59 pm

china needs to take a hike they just steal all their ideas or equipment from everyone else. china does not need metal storm they need to go build their own stuff. china even copied a whole street from london england including the buisnesses and got a bunch of people upset for using their buisness trademarks without their permission. china is a wanna be superpower plain and simple.

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