Metal Storm was reaching the final prototype stage after successful testing by the US military, he said. “We expect production to start in 12 to 24 months.”

Hailed as a revolution in weaponry, Metal Storm’s firing mechanism is initiated electronically rather than by the traditional percussion method. It has almost no recoil and no moving parts, meaning that stoppages are less common than in normal firearms.

Bullets or grenades can be fired at a rate of one million per minute, either from a single weapon or multiple barrels grouped together in pods.

In comparison, an Uzi machinegun fires at a rate of 3,000 rounds a minute.

The company claims the technology can be applied to almost any calibre of weapon. Much of the project is secret, but it is believed that hand-held or remote-controlled weapons would be powered by long-lasting battery packs.

“You’d get multiple firings from one battery and they’d last a long time,” said Ian Bostock, an analyst with Jane’s Defence Weekly.

“Very few firearm revolutions have taken place in the last 60 or 70 years but this is one of them.”

A multi-barrelled Metal Storm gun would direct withering fire at an enemy infantry or tank advance, or enable a warship to fend off a missile attack. ~The Daily Telegraph

No wonder the Chinese want to get their hands on this technology.  I’m hardly even an amateur when it comes to military matters, but it seems to me that possession of guns like this would significantly lessen the advantages of air power and significantly improve defensive positions.  If one side possessed such weapons and the other did not, battles could become very lopsided.  What came to mind when I read about this was the effective shield against missiles created by rapid gunfire that appears in the new Battlestar Galactica