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Mortars Large and Small

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bug2 - 3-7-2019 at 09:10 AM

Serbia developing new 120 mm mortar bombs

Christopher F Foss, Belgrade, Serbia - Jane's International Defence Review

02 July 2019

Serbia is developing new 120 mm mortar bombs for local use and export sales, all of which are for 120 mm smooth bore mortars that are already manufactured in the country.

The bombs can be used with the 120 mm M74 towed mortar system manufactured by Serbia’s Namenska Special Products Factory and sold externally by Yugoimport-SDPR.

The first of these new 120 mm mortar bombs is the NMM-120 guided mortar round (GMR), which has a maximum range of up to 9 km, depending on the mortar it is fired from, according to the Facility of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Belgrade, which is developing the mortar.

The complete GMR weighs 15.5 kg – of which 2.9 kg is the high-explosive (HE) content (RDX/TNT or TNT) – and it has an overall length of 800 mm.

The NMM-120 GMR is claimed to have a 10 m circular error probable (CEP). It has a nose-mounted guidance/fuze module that corrects the path to the target in the final phase of the flight. The nose-mounted fuze can be set for impact or proximity mode.

Serbia is also developing a rocket-assisted (RA) 120 mm mortar bomb that would have a maximum range of up to 15 km, according to the Facility of Mechanical Engineering. The rocket nozzles are located towards the end of the main body of the mortar bomb.

Total weight is quoted as 19.83 kg, of which 1.65 kg is HE, and the mortar bomb has an overall length of 888 mm. It is fitted with a nose-mounted UTU M93 P1 fuze and has a maximum muzzle velocity of 307 m/s, according to Yugoimport.

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bug2 - 12-7-2019 at 12:27 PM

Armed Forces Ministry to Buy 54 Thales 2R2M Mobile Mortars

(Source:; posted July 11, 2019)

The French Army will equip 54 of its Griffon multirole armored vehicles with the 2R2M mortar, a 120mm rifled weapon with semi-automatic loader mounted under armor, in a similar arrangement as on this VAB armored vehicle. (FR Army photo)

The French Armed Forces Ministry’s Ministerial Investment Committee (CMI) is expected to shortly approve the acquisition of 54 Thales Defense 2R2M vehicle-mounted mortars, the Paris news website La Tribune reported July 10. The weapons will be fitted to a special variant of the French Army’s new Griffon wheeled armored vehicle.

The 120mm Rifled, Recoiled, Mounted Mortar (2R2M), whose vehicle-mounted variant will be known as MEPAC, is under armor and protected by a sliding roof, so it remains undetected while on the move. It takes only a few seconds to begin firing, and is operated by a two-man crew (gunner and loader).

Thanks to its semi-automatic loading system, the mortar can fire ten rounds per minute, "with greater precision compared to the rifled, towed version thanks to its recoil brake," according to Thales Defense’s website. It can then quickly return to travel position and move away from its firing position to avoid counter-battery fire.

The 2R2M mortar has already been exported to Saudi Arabia, Italy, Malaysia and the Sultanate of Oman, who have already opted for this mortar to equip their elite troops. Other countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia have also shown their interest in the 2R2M mortar, of which it delivered the 100th unit earlier this year.


bug2 - 13-8-2019 at 10:20 PM

German Company Rheinmetall new 60mm mortar for infantry & special forces

Posted On Tuesday, 13 August 2019 10:32

German Company Rheinmetall has developed a new 60mm mortar for infantry and special forces. The RSG60 features innovative design and engineering characteristics which make this indirect fire system very light and easy to handle. A few quick manual adjustments turn the 15.8 kg standard infantry version into a commando mortar weighing just 6.8 kg, with no need for tools. This makes the RSG60 a two-in-one solution.

New Rheinmetall 60mm mortar for infantry and Special Forces. (Picture source Rheinmetall)

Depending on the ammunition and charges, the standard version can attain ranges of up 3,200 meters. Equipped with a thirty centimeter-longer barrel, the range increases by around 500 meters. The commando variant of the RSG60 has a range of around 2,000 meters.

About 70 centimeters long, the barrel is made of steel with a carbon fiber over-wrap. This assures the necessary stability at the same time as lower weight, resulting in a barrel that weighs around 30 percent less than a conventional steel mortar. The base plate is made of carbon fiber composite material. The novel design of this indirect fire weapon not only saves space, but it can also be set up and ready to fire in a matter of seconds. Furthermore, by loosening the retaining bolts, it is possible to separate the RSG60 from the base plate in around thirty seconds, transforming it into lighter-weight commando mortar.

Development of the new mortar began in October 2017 at Rheinmetall Waffe Munition. Rheinmetall’s objective was to augment the Group’s versatile family of 60mm ammunition and existing Rheinmetall Electronics fire control technology with a matching, future-oriented weapon system. Right from the start, development work, therefore, focused on low weight, speed and ergonomics.

The RSG60 has repeatedly undergone successful test firing.

bug2 - 15-8-2019 at 11:15 PM

Rheinmetall Waffe Munition has developed the new RSG60 60 mm mortar for infantry and special forces. Source: Rheinmetall

bug2 - 16-8-2019 at 09:18 AM

TADTE 2019: Taiwan advances Mobile Mortar System development

Kelvin Wong, Taipei - Jane's International Defence Review

15 August 2019

The Taiwanese MND Materiel Production Center's 202nd Arsenal has incorporated a range of enhancements to its 81/120 mm Mobile Mortar System. It is expected to enter initial operational training and evaluation imminently. Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong

The Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense's (MND's) Materiel Production Center (MPC) took the opportunity at the 2019 Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE), which is being held in Taipei from 15 to 17 August, to unveil an updated version of the 81/120 mm Mobile Mortar System (MMS).

The MMS is a self-contained, electro-mechanical turntable mount that can be armed with an 81 mm or 120 mm smoothbore mortar. The system, which is being developed by the MPC's 202nd Arsenal to meet a potential self-propelled mortar system requirement from the Republic of China Army (RoCA), features a specially designed hydraulic buffer assembly capable of attenuating recoil loads by up to a claimed reduction of 70%.

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bug2 - 19-8-2019 at 08:38 PM

Poland orders support vehicles for Rak mortars

Remigiusz Wilk, Warsaw - Jane's Defence Weekly

16 August 2019

The Polish Armament Inspectorate signed a PLN129 million (USD32.8 million) contract with Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) on 13 August for the delivery of 24 Artyleryjski Wóz Amunicyjny (AWA) ammunition supply vehicles for Rak M120 self-propelled mortar companies in 2019–20.

The Polish Armament Inspectorate signed a PLN129 million contract with HSW on 13 August for the delivery of 24 AWAs for Rak M120 self-propelled mortar companies in 2019-20. (HSW)

“I hope that in the third quarter of this year another contract will be signed ordering more Rak mortars,” Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak announced at the contract-signing ceremony.

The AWA vehicle is based on the Jelcz 882.52 8×8 chassis, featuring a STANAG 4569 level-1 two-man armoured cabin and platform-equipped with six pallets for 120 mm mortar ammunition.

A Rak company comprises eight M120 Rak mortars, four Artyleryjski Wóz Dowodzenia (AWD) artillery command vehicles, two Artyleryjski Wóz Rozpoznania (AWR) artillery reconnaissance vehicles, three ammunition supply vehicles, one Artyleryjski Wóz Remontu Uzbrojenia (AWRU) artillery repair vehicle, and one Ciężki Kołowy Pojazd Ewakuacji I Ratownictwa Technicznego (CKPEiRT) recovery vehicle.

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bug2 - 21-8-2019 at 09:19 AM

More on this...…………

Taiwan unveils new mortar carrier based on CM-32 8x8 armored vehicle

Posted On Tuesday, 20 August 2019 15:11

During the TADTE 2019, defense exhibition in Taiwan, a new wheeled mortar carrier armored vehicle based on the CM-32 Could Leopard was unveiled by the Taiwanese defense industry. The vehicle seems to be fitted with a semi-automatic 81mm mortar system.

New Taiwanese mortar carrier armored vehicle based on CM-32 8x8 wheeled APC. (Picture source Twitter)

The CM-32 is an 8x8 armored vehicle fully developed and design in Taiwan by the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense's (MND's) Materiel Production Center. The mortar variant of the CM-32 family is divided in three main compartments, the engine compartment at the front with the driver on the left side, the crew in the middle and a cargo area at the rear that includes the 81mm mortar system.

The armor of the CM-32 provides protection against firing of small arms of 7.62mm AP caliber all-around the vehicle and 12.7mm AP at the front. The CM-32 vehicle features an integrated, V-shaped, monocoque armored hull structure.

The mortar carrier variant of the CM-32 has a semi-automatic 81mm mortar system mounted inside of the vehicle that can fired through a two-part opening in the roof. The mortar unit is equipped with electro-servo control system and advance firing control modules. It features automatic fire control and fire direction functions. In addition, the low recoil mechanism reduces recoil force effectively and enhance firing stability.

For its self-protection, the mortar vehicle is fitted with a remotely controlled weapon station which is mounted on the roof hull, back of the driver position. This weapon station is armed with a 7.62mmm machine gun.

The CM-32 is motorized with Caterpillar C12 diesel engine developing 450 hp. it can run at a maximum road speed of 120 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 800 km.

bug2 - 31-8-2019 at 09:29 AM

South Korea completes development of upgraded 81 mm mortar system

Gabriel Dominguez, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

30 August 2019

South Korea has completed development of an upgraded 81 mm mortar system, according to a 29 August statement by the country’s Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA).

South Korea has completed development of an upgraded 81 mm mortar system. (DAPA)

Referred to as the ‘81 mm mortar-II’, the weapon, development of which began in December 2014 and was led by South Korean company Hyundai WIA, has successfully met all the requirements set by the South Korean military.

DAPA said that compared with its previous version, the new system, which is fitted with “state-of the-art digital technologies”, is not only 20% lighter, thus enabling greater mobility, but also requires fewer personnel (four instead of five) to operate.

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bug2 - 4-9-2019 at 11:23 AM

MSPO 2019: HSW RAK 120mm mortar system mounted on tracked chassis

Posted On Tuesday, 03 September 2019 20:12

The Polish Company HSW showcases new solution of mobile 120mm mortar artillery system RAK mounted on tracked chassis. The RAK mortar system is already in service with the Polish army mounted on the ROSOMAK 8x8 wheeled armored vehicle. The 120mm RAK mortar can conduct indirect, semi-direct and direct fire against mechanized units, command posts, command-observation points and fortifications.

HWS RAK 120mm mortar system mounted on tracked chassis at MSPO 2019, International Defense Industry Exhibition in Kielce, Poland. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The 120mm RAK mortar turret is fully autonomous which was achieved thanks to the use of modern tracked chassis with hydro-pneumatic suspension in combination with TOPAZ integrated communications, command, and fire control system (C4I), which enables automatic cooperation with external, C4I-compliant command and fire control systems. The reliable operation of the mortar is ensured by the TALIN 5000 and GPS with SAASM module inert navigation system with an odometer and the ballistic computer which displays the current tactical situation on the screen.

One of the most crucial and innovative solutions incorporated into the mortar are the automatic aiming systems and the automatic loading system that is operable regardless of the turret's current angle. This new mobile artillery system uses a 120mm caliber barrel mounted on a turret which has a traverse of 360° and elevation from -3° to +80°. The mortar has a firing rate of 6 to 8 rounds per minute with a maximum firing range of 10 km. The mortar artillery system is fitted with a rotary magazine with an automatic loading system that contains 20 rounds. Additional ammunition can be carried in a magazine located in the chassis.

The 120mm RAK mortar system mounted on a tracked chassis has a crew of three including the driver and two operators in the turret. The vehicle can be ready to be in action for firing operations in maximum of 30 seconds and leave the position in less than 15 seconds.

The HSW 120mm mortar system on tracked chassis with hydro-pneumatic suspension ensures reliability and high mobility of the vehicle while maintaining the highest operating ergonomics parameters and crew safety standards. The hydro-pneumatic suspension used causes faster mortar stabilization after firing.

unicorn - 4-9-2019 at 01:04 PM

To the best of my knowledge, none of the ADFs mortars are vehicle mounted are they?

Not even mounted in the back of an APC?

bug2 - 10-9-2019 at 01:39 PM

Supacat’s Advanced Off-Road Platforms – Mobile Fires, Autonomous Hybrid Vehicle

By Tamir Eshel - Sep 9, 2019

Supacat, Rheinmetall Defence and SCISYS have partnered to showcase at DSEI 2019 the ‘High Mobility Integrated Fires Capability’. A mobile fire support capability for light forces, the partnership demonstrates the system on a Supacat’s 6×6 HMT platform mounted with Rheinmetall’s MWS81 mortar system.

The target acquisition and integrated fire support platform is networked with SCISYS GVA compliant platform and mission software.

The weapon benefits from the superior off-road performance of the HMT, which allow users to conduct high tempo operations and deliver indirect fire from off-road firing positions. The vehicle on display is Supacat’s HMT Extenda Mk2 Special Forces vehicle, which is made its show debut at the show.

The MWS81 mortar, used here for its first integration on a light vehicle, allows for rapid entry into firing position. The system integrates the Vingmate sight, providing target acquisition, and self-location during day and night, with targets being shared over the battlespace data network enabling Support Weapon effects to be directed precisely onto targets.

The SCISYS developed GVA compliant platform and mission software shares data and video around the platform to each crew member’s display and into the battlespace networks, enhancing shared situational awareness and speed of decision making. The displays are supplied by Leonardo. “This enhanced capability is a first for light forces and offers a solution to a number of potential requirements among the green army and Special Forces”, said Phil Applegarth, Head of Supacat.


bug2 - 11-9-2019 at 07:47 PM

DSEI 2019: EXPAL launches new mortar aiming and safety systems

Charles Forrester, London - Jane's International Defence Review

11 September 2019

The E-COMPAX mortar aiming system at the DSEI 2019 exhibition. Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

Spain's EXPAL Systems unveiled two new mortar components at the DSEI show on 10 September.

The E-COMPAX electronic mortar aiming system provides orientation and elevation aiming giving mortar teams fast and accurate fire support.

According to EXPAL Systems product manager Jose Maria Fajardo, development of the system started two years ago. The company is marketing the system across potential users in Europe, with testing being undertaken by the company and by potential European users.

The E-COMPAX combines inertial AMENS gyroscopes and accelerometers, alongside a fluxgate electronic compass and a video camera, with potential night-vision image intensifiers also a possibility for development.

During the systems' orientation phase, it takes 10 seconds to find north ahead before mounting on the bipod, with targeting data entered via a keyboard or tablet, or from a centralised fire-control system. The operator adjusts the mortar using existing cranking handles. Using the E-COMPAX, total aiming time for a mortar is reduced to less than 30 seconds. Adjustments to a mortar's aim after each firing are reduced to less than 5 seconds.

"The benefit of this system is that it greatly reduces the time to fire, improves accuracy, and reduces the amount of stress on the crew," Fajardo said.

The E-COMPAX is platform agnostic, and can be integrated onto any 60 mm, 80/81 mm, and 120 mm mortar tubes, being anchored to the mortar bipod on a NATO-standard mounting dovetail. The system is designed to replace a standard basic optical sight system.

EXPAL Systems also unveiled the new M-COUNTER system to monitor mortar tube performance for maintenance and safety. The M-COUNTER sensor is mounted on a bracket around the mortar tube, and records information for engineering support staff including date of firing, rate of fire, and number of bombs fired.

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bug2 - 11-9-2019 at 10:57 PM

Finding Nemo [DSEI19D2]


11 September 2019

For the first time, Finnish company Patria (Stand N6-160) is showing its latest Armoured Wheeled Vehicle (AWV) fitted with the 120mm Nemo turret mortar system. The AWV (6x6) has been developed by the company as a private venture and pulls through from its Armoured Modular Vehicle (8x8), which has been built in large numbers for domestic customers and an increasing number of export customers.

The AWV has a drive with powered steering on the front four wheels; steering can also be added as an option for the last road wheel station either side. A further option is an amphibious capability.

The first customer for the Nemo turret mortar system is the Saudi Arabian National Guard, which has fitted it to a batch of its General Dynamics Land Systems Canada Light Armoured Vehicles (8x8), while the United Arab Emirates has fitted it to some coastal craft.

The 120mm Nemo features a high rate of fire and can perform a multiple-round simultaneous-impact fire mission, in which five 120mm mortar bombs impact the target at the same time for maximum effect.

Patria is also expanding into other areas. Here at DSEI it is showing CANDL, a compact datalink for air-to-air and air-to-ground applications, and the ARIS remote electronic intelligence system used to intercept, identify, record and analyse radar systems. A further development of this is ARIS-E, which provides automatic identification, real-time geolocation and tracking of radars on the battlefield.

Other systems being highlighted by Patria are the MUSCL passive radar system, and TADS, a tactical debriefing system that provides instant debriefing of military missions and training exercises.

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bug2 - 13-9-2019 at 04:39 PM

Shoot and scoot: Industry answers call for more mobile firepower

By: Jen Judson   14 hours ago

Finnish company Patria brought its armored wheeled vehicle with the 120mm mortar system it calls Nemo to DSEI in London in 2019. (Photo by Jen Judson/Staff)

LONDON — As the U.S. military and its European allies look to counter Russian capabilities observed against Ukraine in Crimea, countries are looking to move away from towed artillery systems to highly mobile mortar systems that pack a punch at greater range.

The exposition floor at DSEI, a large defense trade show in London, was littered with examples of mobile mortar systems that are answering the call.

“We’re seeing the emergence of mobile mortars now due to changing threats and environments,” James Tinsley, a managing director at Avascent, told Defense News at the show.
“Where U.S. and allied operations in Afghanistan and Iraq used largely static mortar and artillery emplacements at Forward Operating Bases, these sites are easily fixed, targeted and destroyed by more advanced conventional adversaries,” Tinsley said. “Those adversaries use unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic intelligence and counter-battery radars to quickly target and counter-fire on vulnerable artillery positions.”

Militaries have increased their focus on mobile artillery solutions, as a result, Tinsley said, to include self-propelled howitzer being recapitalized with new systems like the Paladin M1299 Extended Range Cannon Artillery, Hanwha’s K9, BAE Systems’ Archer 155mm howitzer to name a few. And there’s an effort to extend the range of rounds like the Nammo ramjet capability.

Hammer of Thor

BAE Systems showcased its CV90 Mjölner variant — Hammer of Thor — with a 120mm mortar system, which is about to be delivered to the Swedish Army after completing qualifications.

The company is seeing a genuine requirement from customers because they are seeing the threat and so the company believes its system fits the bill due to its simplicity for the operator.

Swedish Armed Forces Colour Sergeant Joakim Kylstad, a development officer at the Land Warfare Centre, said the system brings an increase in mobility and speed of firing and it can keep up with main battle tanks. The ability to shoot and move out of the way before an enemy can detect and return fire is critical, he added.

And the 120mm’s firepower and range are more effective than an 81mm mortar, Kylstad said.

While this variant was specifically designed for the Swedish Army, there are a number of other countries interested in the platform, Dan Lindell, BAE Systems’ director of combat vehicles in Sweden, said.

The company has sent information on both the Mjölner variant and an advanced mortar system to the United States, but the two have very different price points, Lindell noted.

BAE Systems CV90 Hammer of Thor variant for the Swedish Armed Forces with a 120mm mortar system. (Photo by Jen Judson/Staff)

The vehicle was delivered in record time to the Swedes. BAE fired the first shot from the variant just two-and-a-half months after signing a contract in December two years ago.

BAE also brought its Archer system on an 8x8 truck. The system carries 21 rounds and can be fired in two-and-a-half minutes.

Also packing a punch, Finnish defense company Patria displayed a 120mm Nemo turret on its 6x6 armored wheeled vehicle.

While not integrated onto a vehicle at the show, German defense company Rheinmetall brought its 120mm Ragnarok mortar combat system intended for integration into combat vehicles.


But even smaller vehicles came to the show with mortar systems highlighting easy setup and high mobility.

AM General’s booth had one vehicle - a HMMWV with a Hawkeye 105mm mobile weapon system using a standard M20 cannon installed with a soft recoil capability.

The company has been working with Mandus Group on refining and integrating the Hawkeye system to the humvee. The only parts different from what is already in the U.S. Army inventory is the gun system’s cradle and the recoil mechanism, Nguyen Trinh, company executive vice president of International Defense, told Defense News.

AM General's vehicle at its booth was a humvee with the Hawkeye 105mm mortar system which uses a soft recoil in order to rapidly fire rounds and move before enemy detection. (Photo by Jen Judson/Staff)

The 105mm system can be found on Korean and South African vehicles, but it’s installed on huge 6x6 trucks. Yet, AM General installed the gun without making any modifications to the humvee besides adding stabilizer legs to adjust to uneven ground.

In a recent demonstration, an experienced artillery crew at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, showed the benefits of a system installed on a humvee versus a towed M119.

Compared to the four minutes and 41 seconds an artillery crew of seven took to set up and first fire the system, the four person crew using the HMMWV Hawkeye system fired its first shot in one minute and 54 seconds after spending a day-and-a-half training to use it, Trinh said. In emergency situations, a two-person crew can set up and deploy the weapon.

Additionally, the system can fire 24 rounds within three minutes from the time the vehicle stops, and by the time a counter-battery radar has time to find the system, it’s already moving to its next firing position, he added.

And towed-artillery crews can normally only break down and set up the system several times before it becomes physically exhausting. But the mobility and ease of use of the Hawkeye humvee system means the crew can keep going longer.

The AM General system can also shoot in 360 degrees and is the only company worldwide with this capability. The rest of the systems out there can shoot in a forward-facing “wedge.”

One of the U.S. Army’s priorities is to increase protective mobile fire capability because of the threats observed by Russia on the battlefield in Ukraine, and the Army is evaluating systems including AM General’s system.

“Mobile, self-protected howitzers we believe are the future, not only in the Army but internationally,” Trinh said.

Ditching towed systems

The U.S. Army has recently completed an Army Requirements Oversight Council review on mobile, self-propelled artillery and language on the way forward is expected soon.

The United Kingdom is also looking at the same thing seriously and has requirements for a 155mm system.

But “I would say any country that has towed systems today and that really understands the survivability challenges of towed systems are looking in general terms at self-propelled systems,” Trinh noted.

While not at the show, the company also has a 155mm system called Brutus on an FMTV chassis.

The system doesn’t just have to go on a humvee or FMTV either, Trinh said, but any vehicle in a country’s inventory.

Also taking up less of a footprint was British company Supacat’s High Mobility Integrated Fires Capability with an 81mm mortar system on the back.

The U.S. Army has several programs that increase the mobility of 120mm mortar systems from the Future Indirect Fire Turret (FIFT) program, the Armored Multipurpose Vehicle (AMPV) and work within the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle program.

Several options are being demonstrated to the Army with Stryker for the FIFT program, with a target of installing on AMPV or the future Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle.

“Mortars offer significant firepower in lighter weight systems than self propelled howitzers, albeit at lower ranges. But they are a highly effective complement to other systems,” Tinsley noted.

Most self-propelled mortars today are mounted in the hull of vehicles like AMPV or the Stryker combat vehicle. “These can be effective but they are slower to bring to bear, have an open roof, which is vulnerable to counter-fire and require a heavier vehicle to handle recoil or an expensive and complex recoil system,” Tinsley said.

So turret-mounted systems are “coming into vogue now,” he said. “They offer high rates of fire, maintain crew protection and tightly integrate fire control or indirect and direct fire missions. Some have automatic loaders and other automation to drive even higher rates of fire.”

The Army was moving in this direction back in the days of Future Combat Systems, but the program was cancelled with the rest of the program.

The international market has been developing and adopting these systems more quickly, according to Tinsley, and it’s likely that the providers with wares to show at DSEI are leading candidates for some of the things the U.S. Army is looking for, but will likely require U.S. production partners and integrators, according to Tinsley.

bug2 - 16-9-2019 at 09:20 AM

The NEMO 120mm mortar turret on an AMV armoured vehicle is being demonstrated at Fort Benning...………..I would presume the interest is in the mortar rather than the vehicle?

bug2 - 20-9-2019 at 11:11 PM

Aselsan rolls out Alkar 81 mm mortar

Christopher F Foss, London - Jane's International Defence Review

20 September 2019

Turkish company Aselsan has completed development of its latest Alkar 81 mm mortar weapon system (MWS) using internal research and development funding. The company said production can begin as soon as orders are placed.

The Alkar 81 mm MWS leverages on experience gained from the development of the earlier Alkar 120 mm rifled MWS, which is already in service with the Turkish Gendarmerie, integrated into the rear of the locally produced 4×4 BMC Vuran mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle.

Aselsan's Alkar 81 mm mortar weapon system is turntable-mounted and can be rapidly laid on to the target. (Christopher F Foss)

The mortar system has an overall footprint of 1.85×0.85×1.02 m and can be installed on armoured and soft-skinned platforms. It was integrated onto the rear of an unarmoured long-wheelbase 4×4 Land Rover Defender for trials, although comparable platforms such as the 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser could also be used.

The system comprises the automatic barrel laying system (ABLS), recoil mechanism, and computerised fire-control system (FCS). It is fitted with an 81 mm smoothbore mortar barrel with a length of 1.6 m, with a minimum range of 100 m and a maximum range of 6,400 m depending on the projectile/charge combination.

The turntable-mounted 81 mm mortar features an electrically powered traverse of 180° in azimuth with elevation limits from 45° to 85°. It can be traversed manually if power fails.

According to Aselsan, the system can come into action and fire its first 81 mm mortar bomb within one minute and can come out of action within 10 seconds to escape counter-battery fire.

The FCS enables it to be rapidly laid onto the target with ballistic calculations being carried out using the NATO Armaments Ballistics Kernel (NABK) software. Its integral recoil system provides enough stability to the host platform that external stabilisers are not required.

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bug2 - 28-9-2019 at 01:07 PM

Ukrainian forces receive Bars-8MMK mortar vehicles

Samuel Cranny-Evans, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

27 September 2019

The Bars-8MMK is designed to be used by special forces and infantry. Source: Everis/NTGS

Ukrainian forces have received their first Bars-8MMK (mobile mortar complex) vehicles from Ukroboronservice, Ukroboronprom announced on its website on 25 September.

The defence conglomerate said Ukroboronservice had successfully completed acceptance tests with the vehicle, covering tactical and technical characteristics, as well as firing trials, with a Ukrainian military unit.

It added that the mortars are built using NATO-compatible components within the framework of Ukraine's 2017 state defence order, which aims to modernise the Ukrainian armed forces.

The system utilises the Alakran mortar system from NTGS. It is armed with a 120 mm smoothbore mortar supplied by Ukraine, and the Alakran mount enables it to be deployed and ready to fire within 35 seconds, according to Ukroboronservice.

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bug2 - 28-9-2019 at 02:37 PM

BARS-8MMK 120mm mobile mortar system in service with Ukrainian army

Posted On Friday, 27 September 2019 14:16

Ukroboronprom, the Ukrainian state defense agency has completed the delivery of 120mm self-propelled mortar system BARS-8MMK to the Ukrainian army who has performed the first firing tests. The BARS-8MMK is a new mobile self-propelled mortar vehicle using the chassis of the BARS-8 4x4 wheeled armored vehicle.

BARS-8MMk 120mm self-propelled mortar carrier during firing tests by the Ukrainian army. (Picture source Ukroboronprom video footage)

The BARS-8MMK carries a 120 mortar which can be deployed automatically at the rear of the vehicle to perform firing operations. It takes only 30 seconds to bring this artillery system in firing condition, and the vehicle is able to leave the firing position in less than 20 seconds.

The BARS-8MMK has a crew of three and can carry up to 60 mortar ammunition. The vehicle is equipped with an integrated Fire Control system, which can be operated either from inside the cab or by a mortar team member standing alongside the vehicle. It has a maximum firing range of 8,000 meters and a rate of fire of 12 rounds/min.

The BARS-8 is a 4x4 armored vehicle designed and manufactured by the Ukrainian Company Bogdan. The vehicle is built on the Dodge Ram pick-up truck’s 4×4 wheeled chassis. It has a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 kg and a payload capacity of 2,000 kg.

The BARS-8 offers protection against firing of small arms and artillery shell splinters up to Level 2 STANAG 4569. The vehicle is motorized with a 6.7l Cummins V8 turbo diesel engine developing 350 hp. coupled to an Allison six-speed automatic or manual transmission system.

The BARS-8 can run at a maximum road speed of 120 km/h and has a fording depth of 0.76 m. It can climb a gradient of 60% and negotiate side slopes ranging from 20% to 40%.

bug2 - 14-10-2019 at 10:50 AM

Rheinmetall expands 120 mm mortar capability

Christopher F Foss, London - Jane's International Defence Review

11 October 2019

Rheinmetall Norway has developed to the prototype stage its MWS 120 Ragnarok 120 mm turntable mounted mortar system.

According to Gunnar Andersson, director of sales and business development at Rheinmetall Norway AS, “we have already carried out successful firing trials in Sweden”.

The weapon, developed with internal funding, is designed for potential German and export customers. It is currently at Technology Readiness Level 7 (TRL 7) as 80% of the components are common with the in-service 81 mm system, called MWS 81, which is already deployed by the Norwegian Army.

The turntable-mounted Rheinmetall Norway MWS 120 Ragnarok mortar as it would be deployed in the firing position in an armoured fighting vehicle. (Rheinmetall)

The first example is fitted with a 120 mm smoothbore barrel but could also take a 120 mm rifled barrel if required by the user.

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bug2 - 13-11-2019 at 09:34 AM

Patria demos Nemo 120 mm mortar in United States

Christopher F Foss, London - Jane's International Defence Review

12 November 2019

Finland's Patria said its120 mm Nemo (New Mortar) turret, integrated onto its Armoured Modular Vehicle (AMV) 8×8, has conducted a firepower demonstration in the United States.
These trials were done at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, and Fort Benning, Georgia, and included indirect and direct target engagements as well as Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) fire missions, Kari Reunamäki, Patria's senior vice-president for Weapon Systems Land, told Jane's . The latest demonstration was at Fort Benning in September.

The Patria AMV fitted with a Nemo 120 mm turret-mounted mortar at Fort Benning during a recent demonstration.

Patria said the 120 mm Nemo turret weighs 1.9 tonnes. For trials, the AMV carried 60×120 mm mortar bombs supplied by Belgium's Mecar (now France's Nexter Munitions).

Nemo's main role is indirect fire support, but it can also do direct fire missions against bunkers and other battlefield targets. It is also capable of coming into action within 30 seconds and can come out of action immediately.

In 2018 the US Army began a market survey "to identify capable sources to develop and produce the 120mm Mortar Future Indirect Fire Turret (FIFT)", according the service's official notice.

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bug2 - 22-1-2020 at 04:22 PM

New version of the French GRIFFIN 6x6, the Griffon MEPAC (Mortier Embarqué Pour l’Appui au Contact)………..

bug2 - 24-1-2020 at 10:16 PM

Temporary company grouping awarded for MEPAC contract for mounted mortar systems on Griffon VBMR

Posted On Friday, 24 January 2020 10:26

On the 30th of December 2019, the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) awarded the sixth contract amendment on the Scorpion programme to the consortium formed by Nexter, Arquus and Thales. This latest award, known as MEPAC2, covers the delivery of 54 additional Griffon multi-role armored vehicles (VBMR 3) equipped with Thales' 120mm 2R2M (Rifled Recoiled Mounted Mortar) system, reaching the total number of Griffon vehicles on the Scorpion program to 1,872 in accordance with the Military Planning Law 2019-2025.

VBMR MEPAC2 armed with Thales' 120mm 2R2M (Rifled Recoiled Mounted Mortar) (Illustration source: DGA)

Since consultations began in November 2018, the three industry partners have been working together and with the DGA to design a new version of the vehicle concept with artillery capabilities.

This is the first time the French Army will field the 2R2M, which is already in service in four other countries. The mounted mortar system will provide added mobility and precision in front-line combat operations as well as better protection for soldiers. In particular, the Thales system has built its reputation on its semi-automatic loading system and the precision of its rifled barrel and has been combat-proven in numerous theatres of operations. In addition to structural modifications to the system architecture, this new version will include significant changes to the onboard optronics and the vehicle's mobility systems.

The rear compartment of the vehicle will be modified to accommodate the weapon system, mortar operators and the mortar rounds needed on the mission. Roof hatches will also be installed to open or close the top of the vehicle as the needs of the battlegroup evolve.

After the qualification of the MEPAC variant, the DGA will take delivery of the first vehicles by the end of 2023, with the remaining deliveries scheduled between 2024 and 2027.

As for the other versions of the Griffon VBMR, the consortium's value proposition includes a substantial support and configuration management component.

bug2 - 29-1-2020 at 11:41 AM

Last bit on this...…..

France orders Griffon self-propelled mortars

Nicholas Fiorenza, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

28 January 2020

The DGA has awarded a contract to a consortium composed of Nexter, Arquus, and Thales for 54 MEPAC 120 mm self-propelled mortar carriers. Source: Thales

The Direction générale de l'armement (DGA), the French armaments procurement agency, on 30 December awarded a contract to a consortium composed of Nexter, Arquus, and Thales for 54 MEPAC 120 mm self-propelled mortar carrier versions of the Griffon 8×8 multirole heavy armoured vehicle, Thales announced in a press release on 24 January.

MEPAC will be equipped with the Thales Rifled, Recoiled, Mounted Mortar (2R2M) system. The company said the mortar, which features a semi-automatic loading system and rifled barrel, would increase the mobility, precision, and protection of the French Army.

The DGA and the three companies have been working on the design of MEPAC since November 2018. Thales said the rear compartment of the Griffon will be modified to accommodate the 2R2M, its crew, and mortar rounds. In addition, roof hatches will be installed so the top of the vehicle can be opened and closed as need be. A joint French Ministry of Defence-army-DGA fact sheet on MEPAC said the mortar could be operated under armour and placed in and out of battery nearly immediately.

After qualification of MEPAC, the first vehicles are scheduled to be delivered to the DGA by the end of 2023, with deliveries continuing until 2027.

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bug2 - 13-2-2020 at 12:19 PM

Singapore Airshow 2020: Upgraded SRAMS mortar is unveiled

11th February 2020 - 11:30 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Singapore

The SRAMS MkII 120mm mortar system, installed in the rear cabin of a Bronco 3 articulated tracked vehicle, made its maiden public appearance at Singapore Airshow 2020.

Manufactured by ST Engineering, key changes on the SRAMS MkII, which stands for Super Rapid Advanced Mortar System, are the inclusion of an all-electric drive system plus the ability to rotate a full 360° on its turntable.

The new electric drive system allows the 120mm smoothbore weapon to be stowed more horizontally – to around 10° elevation – than the old SRAMS. Its operational elevation range is 45° to 80°.

The electric system’s speed is controlled in order to maintain operator safety, meaning it does not lay any faster than the hydraulic drive used on the original SRAMS. On the old system, the angle of rotation on each side was only 500mil. In case the electrical drive system fails, there is a manual backup system available.

The original SRAMS from ST Engineering was procured by the Singapore Army and by two customers in the Middle East – Jordan and the UAE – according to Shephard’s Defence Insight database.

The SRAMS can be installed on wheeled or tracked vehicles, an example of the former being the Belrex 4x4 tactical vehicle that is now being operated by the Singapore Army.

Its rate of fire is listed as ten rounds per minute and a crew of either two or three soldiers operate it, thanks to the inclusion of an autoloader.

Three types of regular 120mm rounds can be fired by the SRAMS – high explosive, smoke and illumination. ST Engineering also offers the PM120 precision-guided round. This includes a GPS kit to give a CEP of 10m at the weapon’s maximum range of 8.5km.

ST Engineering literature also noted the SRAMS MkII is ‘capable of future remote manned/unmanned operations’.

bug2 - 2-3-2020 at 07:50 PM

Georgian armored 120mm mortar carrier Didgori Meomari for Middle East

Posted On Monday, 02 March 2020 08:25

A new Georgian armored vehicle, the Didgori Meomari fitted with a 120 mm mortar module, will be exported under an agreement made between the Scientific-Technical Centre Delta and a Middle Eastern country.

Didgori Meomari with its 120 mm mortar in firing position (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The first batch of the Didgori Meomari with a 120 mm mortar module, worth tens of millions of euros, will be delivered to the armed forces of a Middle Eastern country. Keeping up with the latest trends in 2018, specialists from Delta have developed a 120mm mortar module prototype for the Didgori Meomari armored vehicle, of which the first public screening was held at international defense exhibition IDEX 2019. The purpose of a 120 mm mortar Meomari is to provide fire support to brigade or battalion-sized units.

According to the wishes of the undisclosed customer, the combat vehicle can be equipped with various models of internal and external interconnections: radios, global navigation systems, inertial navigation systems (GPS / INS), Mortar Fire Control System (MFCS), Battlefield Information Management, Command and Control C2 / C3 / C4 / C4i systems.

Didgori Meomari with its 120 mm mortar in firing position (Picture source: Delta)

bug2 - 11-3-2020 at 12:13 PM

EXPAL Systems starts development of its own guidance systems

Posted On Tuesday, 10 March 2020 15:20

EXPAL Systems on 10 March announced the launch of its first development of guidance systems. The company seeks to offer the armed forces ammunition with greater precision, in order to reduce collateral damage and achieve greater survivability thanks to efficiency in the mission. Another design objective that is sought is to achieve an improved anti-jamming capability.

Eimos is a demonstrator of EXPAL’s know-how in the field of mortar ammunition and integrated mortar systems, here with a 60mm mortar mounted on an Uro Vamtac ST5 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Within its range of ammunition and components, the company has extensive experience in integrating its portfolio of ammunition with guidance kits from leading companies. With the launch announced on 10 March, EXPAL takes a definitive step towards the in-house development of this Capability: "We have completely verticalized the weapon, ammunition, propulsion and fuze, so it is a natural step to also verticalize the guidance and incorporate it into our product portfolio," explains Stéphane Plantinet, Marketing Director of the Company.

The first project, initiated in collaboration with the Spanish Ministry of Defense through the DGAM Coincident program, is a 120mm mortar grenade guidance system, scalable to 155mm.

This system introduces improvements in the field of the algorithm, electronics and mechanical strengthening compared to existing systems. Also, as a new requirement, the scalability towards the European positioning system Galileo stands out.

"The new system responds to the needs of equipment and material of the Army marked in the Spanish Land Force 2035 project. We begin with guidance for mortar ammunition because it is a field in which we are experts," adds Plantinet.

bug2 - 21-3-2020 at 08:11 PM

Royal Danish Army buys Weibel muzzle velocity radar for mortars

Christopher F Foss, London - Jane's International Defence Review

20 March 2020

The Royal Danish Army is now installing Weibel Scientific's MVR-700 - a muzzle velocity radar (MVR) - on its recently acquired Elbit Systems/ESL Cardom 10 120 mm muzzle-loaded smoothbore mortars, which arm the service's Piranha 5 8x8 vehicles.

A total of 12 Cardom 10s have been procured by the Danish Ministry of Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation (DALO) and these are fitted with a load-assist device to increase the rate of fire and reduce crew fatigue.

Weibel Scientific developed its family of Doppler-based MVRs using internal research and development funding. For the Danish application, the MVR-700 is mounted parallel to the 120 mm barrel, according to the company.

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bug2 - 25-3-2020 at 12:47 PM

Leonardo DRS Receives Contract for Army Mortar Fire Control Computers

(Source: Leonardo DRS; issued March 23, 2020)

ARLINGTON, VA --- Leonardo DRS, Inc. announced today that it has been awarded a contract by Elbit Systems of America to provide advanced rugged tablets as the Fire Control Computer Two (FCCII) for U.S. Army Mortar Fire Control Systems.

The $20.6 million contract, was awarded in October 2019. The FCCII hosts the software which enables the warfighter to interact with the overall system designed to reduce the time it takes soldiers to prepare and fire rounds.

The FCCII is a rugged computer tablet from the Leonardo DRS Land Electronics business. When loaded with Mortar Fire Control software, it is capable of computing firing solutions for 120mm mounted and dismounted mortar systems, processing digital call for fires messages from battlefield’s Fire Support Network, and providing technical manual reference to the user. The FCCII is being fielded to Infantry Brigade Combat Teams, Armored Brigade Combat Teams and Stryker Brigade Combat teams.

“These tablets are providing advanced ruggedized multi-touchscreen technology so warfighters can have the most advanced and reliable digitized equipment for more effective protective fire missions,” said Bill Guyan, senior vice president and general manager of the Leonardo DRS Land Electronics business. “We are proud to be working with Elbit Systems of America on this program and are dedicated to the support and fielding of these proven digital fire control computers for our warfighters.”

Manufacturing of these FCCII rugged tablets will be conducted by the Leonardo DRS Land Electronics business unit in Melbourne, Florida.

Leonardo DRS is a prime contractor, leading technology innovator and supplier of integrated products, services and support to military forces, intelligence agencies and defense contractors worldwide. The company specializes in naval and maritime systems, ground combat mission command and network computing, global satellite communications and network infrastructure, avionics systems, and intelligence and security solutions. Additionally, the company builds power systems and electro-optical/infrared systems for a wide range of commercial customers. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, Leonardo DRS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Leonardo S.p.A.


bug2 - 16-4-2020 at 01:16 PM

D3A Defence debuts specialised mortar operator simulation system

Giles Ebbutt, Plymouth - Jane's International Defence Review

15 April 2020

The OP module in D3A Defence’s mortar training simulator showing an MFC with a head mounted display and using virtual target detection and acquisition equipment. Source: MetaVR

UK-based D3A Defence has developed an end-to-end simulation system specifically designed to train mortar operators, and demonstrated the concept at the Defence Simulation Education and Training (DSET) conference in Bristol in March 2020.

Scott Winter, chief technology officer for D3A Defence, told Jane's that the system was developed to fill a perceived gap in the market for a simple in-barracks simulator to support training on predominantly infantry-manned mortar systems, as opposed to specialist artillery simulators.

The system consists of three networked modules: the observation post (OP), the command post (CP), and the mortar crew. This enables the complete process of calling for fire, calculating firing data, firing, observing the fall of shot and making subsequent corrections to be practised within a common virtual environment.

The mortar crew module consists of a training mortar with a barrel that has a cut out at the base to allow a loaded bomb to drop out. Data to enable accurate fall of shot to be calculated is provided using a device from Minerva Simulation and Training that is appended to the barrel. This plots barrel elevation and azimuth and receives RF data from the loaded training ammunition. These rounds are fitted with radio emitters that provide the ammunition type, number of charge rings, and the fuze setting. This data is then fed over the network to the CP station for verification if necessary.

The CP module enables the management of fire missions. The concept demonstration used a laptop running Battlespace Simulation Inc's (BSI's) modern air combat environment (MACE) integrated with MetaVR's virtual reality scene generator (VRSG) for image generation (IG). Together they provide real-time ballistic information and replicate effects of fired ordnance accurately within the synthetic environment, enabling the mortar fire controller (MFC) to observe realistic fall-of-shot, accurately reproduced according to the fire-direction orders.

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bug2 - 23-4-2020 at 10:49 PM

Azerbaijani army trains with Israeli-made Cardom Hatchet Recoil Mortar System


In accordance with the combat training plan for 2020 approved by the Azerbaijani minister of Defense, live-fire training exercises are conducted with the Azerbaijani armed forces’ mortar battery crews using their Israeli-made Cardom Hatchet Recoil Mortar System.

Soltam System's Cardom "Hatchet" 120mm mortars in live-firing training (Picture source: Azerbaijani army)

The Cardom "Hatchet" is an Israeli 81mm/120mm Recoil Mortar System (RMS) manufactured by Soltam Systems. It is used by the US Army, the Israel Defence Forces, NATO countries, and others. The Cardom is an autonomous, computerized system for mounting on light and medium armored carriers. The system uses a new Computerized Integrated Navigation and Self Positioning and Aiming systems. Its modern Target Acquisition Devices together with a specially designed Recoiling Mortar System, attenuates the firing loads and enables mounting the systems on wheeled and tracked AFVs, or even soft-skinned vehicles such as trucks. The Cardom Aiming mechanisms are linked to state-of-the-art command, control and communication systems to achieve quick response automatic laying mode. The IDF delivered Cardom system takes target acquisition data that provides range, bearing, position and other data from an observation point and transmits it directly to the Cardom system; using electrical servo motors, the mortar barrel is then set at the exact traverse and elevation angles ready for firing.

The 120 mm Cardom has a firing rate of 16 rpm, followed by a 4 rpm sustained rate of fire. The Cardom Recoil Mortar System has been qualified for fielding with the 3rd US Army Stryker brigade and will be coupled to the US Army's M95 Mortar Fire Control System on the M1129 Mortar Carrier. So far over 320 mortar systems have been manufactured for the U.S. Army.

Soltam System's Cardom "Hatchet" 120mm mortars ready to fire (Picture source: Azerbaijani army )

bug2 - 24-4-2020 at 10:19 PM

Swiss Army 120mm mortar on what looks like a LAV-5 APC (EDIT: it's a PIRANHA IV, see later article)..........Swiss title 12-cm Mörser 16............semi-automatic mortar round loading, see video.



bug2 - 28-4-2020 at 04:26 PM

The 120mm Mortar 16 Suitable for Employment by the Troops

(Source: Swiss Dept. of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport; issued April 24, 2020)

(Unofficial translation by

The Swiss Ministry of Defence has qualified the 120mm Type 16 breech-loading mortar in its self-propelled version, fitted under cover inside a Piranha IV 8-wheeled armored vehicle; it should enter service beginning in 2024. (VBS photo)

BERN --- The tactical aptitudes of the 12 cm 16 mortar were assessed in March 2020 as part of a troop test at the Bière Garrison. The criteria for fitness for use by the troop were met, and the system can be used by the army. The mortar system is to be handed over to the troops beginning in 2024.

Troop trials of the 120mm Type 16 mortar troop tests were organized in March 2020 at the Bière Garrison. The troops tested the mortar system to assess its tactical capabilities. Safety deficiencies that had prevented the troop from firing it during the past year have been identified and rectified by industry. The mortar has now been successfully engaged in live fire exercises. The criteria for fitness for use by the troop are met, and the system can henceforth be used by the army.


With the retirement of the 120mm Mortar 64/91 in 2009, the combat units of the Swiss Army have had no system to ensure indirect fire support at close range. This ability will be restored thanks to the vehicle-mounted Mortar 16.

Troop introduction planned from 2024

The conclusion of these tests marks a decisive milestone for this weapon project. The next steps are to prepare and sign the serial production contract. This contract will take into account in particular the results of tests carried out to date by industry, armasuisse and the troops. The delivery to the troop is planned from 2024.

About the 120mm Type 16 mortar project

The 12 cm (120mm Type 16 mortar project was authorized by the Federal Parliament as part of the 2016 Armaments Program. The global package includes 32 mortar systems (mortars and their carrier vehicles), twelve trucks, ammunition, logistics equipment, as well as the adaptation of sixteen command vehicles already in service. The carrier vehicle is the Piranha IV 8 × 8 wheeled infantry combat vehicle from GDELS-Mowag, while the mortar used is the Cobra weapon system developed by RUAG Switzerland SA.

Cancellation of media meeting

A media briefing to present the new mortar system at the Bière weapon park was scheduled for late April, following the conclusion of the troop trials. Unfortunately, this event cannot take place in view of the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, photos and videos demonstrating the capabilities of the system are being made available to media representatives.


bug2 - 29-4-2020 at 09:25 AM

Firing tests for new CM-32 120mm mortar carrier armored vehicle of Taiwanese army


According to pictures released on Twitter on April 26, 2020, Taiwan has performed trials and firing tests with the CM-32 8x8 armored vehicle fitted with a 120mm mortar system mounted at the rear of the vehicle.

Taiwanese CM-32 self-propelled mortar carrier wheeled armored vehicle during firing tests. (Picture source Twiter account @Ninja998998)

The 120mm self-propelled mortar carrier variant in the CM-32 family of 8x8 armored vehicles was unveiled by the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense's Material Production Center during the Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE) in August 2019.

The CM-32 Yunpao (Cloud Leopard in English) is an 8×8 armored personnel carrier manufactured by the Ordnance Readiness Development Centre in Nantou for the Taiwanese Army. The vehicle was originally designed by Timoney Technology of Ireland. The development of the CM-32 started in 2002 and three prototypes were delivered in January 2005. In 2007, serial production has been launched.

The layout of the CM-32 is divided into three main parts with the driver at the front left of the hull and the power pack to his right. A remote weapon station is mounted at the rear of the driver position armed with a 7.62mm machine gun. The 120mm mortar weapon station is mounted inside of the hull at the rear of the vehicle.

The CM-32 has ballistic protection able to withstand firing of 12.7mm machine guns at the front while the hull provides all-round protection for crew and troops against the firing of small arms 7.62mm ammunition. The vehicle is based on a V-shaped hull design providing protection against mine blast and explosion of up to 12 kg TNT under any wheel.

The CM-32 mortar carrier is fitted with the Israeli-made Soltam M120 mortar which has a range of 7.2 km and can fire different types of ammunition including high explosive, smoke, illumination and precision-guided munitions. The 120mm mortar is mounted on a turntable in the rear of the hull that fires to the rear through an opening in the roof covered by a two-part hatch. All the firing operations can be performed from inside of the vehicle.

The SOLTAM mortar system is a 120mm light vehicle-mounted Recoil Mortar System that provides ground forces with improved mobility, lethality and accuracy across a wide range of operational scenarios. The mortar is a derivative of the combat-proven soft recoil mortar which is muzzle-loaded and turntable-mounted and is being used extensively by the US Army, NATO, Israel Defense Force and other countries.

bug2 - 2-5-2020 at 03:33 PM

Poland to order more Rak self-propelled mortars and Grot rifles

Jakub Link-Lenczowski, Kraków - Jane's Defence Weekly

01 May 2020

Poland is ordering a third batch of Rak 120 mm SPMs. Source: HSW

The Polish Ministry of National Defence (MND) at the end of April announced three major contracts to be signed soon. Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak revealed on Twitter on 24 April that one of these would be for the acquisition of a third batch of Rak 120 mm self-propelled mortars (SPMs). Poland's Armament Inspectorate announced on the EU's Tender Electronic Daily on 27 April that negotiations with a consortium between Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) and Rosomak had begun on 3 April. The estimated contract value is PLN680.4 million (USD162.3 million). The SPMs are expected to be delivered to the 18th Mechanised Division in 2020-26.

Błaszczak tweeted on 25 April that the MND would order another 18,000 5.56 mm MSBS Grot C16 assault rifles worth PLN160 million, bringing the total supplied to the Polish Army by manufacturer Fabryka Broni Łucznik-Radom to 68,000. The new assault rifles will be delivered through the Polish territorial army, the Wojska Obrony Terytorialnej (WOT). The Grot is replacing 80,000 Beryl 5.56 mm rifles still used by the Polish Army.

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bug2 - 11-5-2020 at 07:51 PM

Supposedly Russian-supported troops in Ukraine use ‘silent’ mortars

POSTED ON MONDAY, 11 MAY 2020 09:14

A tweet published by “Caesar” contains two pictures showing a “silent mortar” being fired in the Donbas conflict area by unidentified warfighters, possibly Russian or Russian-supported Ukrainian ones, as it seems to appear from the tweets that follow the pictures.
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(Picture source: screenshot published on Twitter by "Caesar")

This mortar enables its users to fire grenades without being spotted, thanks to the big sound suppressor fitted on the mortar tube. A silent mortar will prevent detection by artillery surveillance devices that require a listening post to activate that device (radar or sound ranging). But newer types are monitoring constantly with no requirement for a human to hear the mortar to activate them. “Sukhoi Su-57 Frelon” commented on the tweet by saying he had already seen a video showing a similar Russian mortar in action and it is “not that silent”.

(Picture source: screenshot published on Twitter by "Caesar")

bug2 - 12-5-2020 at 07:35 PM

Plasan from Israel has delivered Sandcat Spear 120mm mortar carrier vehicle to undisclosed customer

POSTED ON TUESDAY, 12 MAY 2020 08:41

Israeli Company Plasan has delivered to undisclosed customer a batch of SandCat 4x4 protected vehicles configured as Spear 120mm self-propelled mortar carrier. The company continues to build and delivers to national and international customers despite the Coronavirus crisis.

A Plasan Sandcat Spera 120mm mortar carrier vehicle ready to be delivered to an undisclosed customer. (Picture source Plasan)

Founded in 1985, the Israeli company Plasan is a global leader in offering safer vehicle environments and survivability solutions for defense and security forces. Plasan solutions offer high-end protection and mission readiness for defense and security vehicles while reducing operational costs. With extensive battlefield experience and expertise in automotive systems, and materials, the company delivers solutions to support even the most complex vehicle and team missions.

The SandCat is a series of a light armored vehicle based on a commercial Ford F-Series chassis. Approximately 700 SandCat vehicles have been produced since 2004, and the vehicle is used 16 countries across five continents by military and security forces. The SandCat has been designed to perform a wide range of military and Police/internal security-related missions. The original SandCat featured a four- or five-seat protected crew citadel, this having two doors on each side plus two rear doors in the crew citadel that open into an open-topped rear storage area.

The hull of the SandCat is made on a lightweight composite material and unique cabin designs ensure added protection, which does not come at the expense of added vehicle weight or reduced performance.

The fourth-generation of SandCat was unveiled in June 2018 during the Eurosatory defense exhibition in Paris and is described by the manufacturer as having a more flexible and modular architecture. The fourth generation of SandCat vehicles is available in three baseline configurations as a troop carrier, utility, and a single cab version. The Troop Carrier which seats up to 10 is fully enclosed. The Utility has a fully armoured crew-type cab that seats up to five, while the Single Cab option seats up to three. The rear chassis of the utility and single-cab variants are available for a variety of payload options.

With SandCat Spear 120mm mortar carrier, Plasan has designed a new light and mobile artillery system that can be used by airborne troops or fast reaction forces offering mobility and firepower. The Spear is a fully autonomous 120mm mortar system with soft-recoil that can be easily integrated into light wheeled tactical vehicles. The mortar is a derivative of the CARDOM battle proven mortar system - more than 1,000 systems extensively used by the US Army, NATO, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and others.

The SPEAR is equipped with computerized aiming and navigation devices, enabling the mortar system to be operated autonomously and aimed without the need for external reference points. SPEAR can be easily integrated with a variety of C4 I or Battle Management Systems (BMS). It can be operated by 2-3 crew members and can be ready to fire in less than 60 seconds.

bug2 - 19-5-2020 at 08:12 PM

Patria from Finland proposes its Nemo 120mm mortar weapon for US mortar carriers

POSTED ON TUESDAY, 19 MAY 2020 08:53

U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center and Patria have signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to determine the feasibility of incorporating a turreted, breech-loaded Nemo 120mm mortar weapon system in U.S. mortar carriers.

Patria Nemo 120mm mortar on 8x8 armored vehicle. (Picture source Patria)

The scope of the agreement is to assess the capabilities of Patria Nemo mortar system, its compatibility with U.S. mortar carrier weapon platforms and fire control systems as well as to evaluate the use of the current U.S. 120 mm mortar ammunition in a breech-loaded mortar, such as Patria Nemo.

This agreement is a continuation of U.S. Army’s effort to provide Armored and Stryker Brigade Combat Teams with rapid, precise indirect and direct fire capability where the operating crew is well protected, and their physical burden is significantly reduced. In late 2018 the Army published a market survey to identify capable sources to develop and produce the 120 mm Mortar Future Indirect Fire Turret (FIFT). Patria answered the market survey based on Patria Nemo mortar system.

Patria Nemo is a turreted, remote-controlled 120 mm mortar system with both direct and indirect fire capability and can execute up to 6 grenade multiple rounds simultaneous impact fire missions. In addition to being highly protected, Patria Nemo is light, compact and easily installable on light, tracked chassis, wheeled armored vehicles or navy vessels.

“The agreement between the U.S Army and Patria exemplifies the capability leap that modern turreted mortar systems can introduce to armed forces and illustrates Patria’s leading role in this technology area. It is also a logical continuation to the cooperation between Patria and the U.S. Government that began with Patria Nemo sales to a third country through a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program”, says Jussi Järvinen, President of Patria’s Land Business Unit.

U.S. Foreign Military Sales is a form of security assistance that authorizes the U.S. to sell defense articles and services to foreign countries.

bug2 - 20-5-2020 at 03:30 PM

U.S. Army to Test 120mm Semi-Automatic Mortars from Finland

The US Army want to enhance the firepower of Brigade Combat Teams, with rapid, precise indirect and direct fires

By Tamir Eshel -May 19, 2020

Patria and the U.S. Army have entered into an agreement for a feasibility study of incorporating a turreted, breech-loaded 120 mm mortar weapon system in U.S. mortar carriers. The evaluation will also assess the integration of carrier weapon platforms and fire control systems and the use of current U.S. 120 mm mortar ammunition in a breech-loaded system.

The Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) agreement between the Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center and Finland’s company Patria, follows an Army study conducted by late 2018, seeking sources to develop and produce the 120 mm Mortar Future Indirect Fire Turret (FIFT). Patria answered the market survey based on its Nemo mortar system. The evaluation of Nemo turrets is part of a continued search in enhancing the capabilities of Armored and Stryker Brigade Combat Teams with rapid, precise indirect and direct fire capability.

The turreted design provides more protection for the crew, and reduces the physical burden of loading bombs. The Russian military has been using turreted mortars in indirect and direct firing modes for decades but until now, the concept has not been successful in the Western military.

The U.S. Army currently employs the Cardom 120mm mortar system produced by Elbit Systems. Cardom systems are installed on Stryker and M-113 (or AMPV) armored vehicles and are manually loaded. The Marine Corps has recently decommissioned 120mm mortars and is looking for alternatives that will deliver the firepower expected from mortars, but with enhanced effects.

Nemo 120mm turreted mortar installed on a Patria AMV armored vehicle. Photo: Patria

The NEw-MOrtar (Nemo) is a turreted, remote-controlled 120 mm smoothbore mortar system with both direct and indirect fire capability. It is a lighter version of Patria’s Amos twin-barrel system in use by the Finish Army since 2013. Like Amos, Nemo is capable of rapid firing using electrically operated semi-automatic loading enables the system to fire in quick succession. Nominally, Nemo can deliver up to 10 rounds per minute at a maximum rate of fire, and six rounds in the sustained firing. It takes only 30 seconds to fire a first round, with two additional rounds in 15 seconds.
By trimming elevation to different trajectories Nemo can be programmed to hit a target simultaneously with up to six bombs fired from a single mortar on a “Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact” (MRSI) fire mission. Such a capability requires highly coordinated fire by a full battalion. In addition to being highly protected, the system employs a hydropneumatic recoiling system to soften firing loads, and with a total weight of about 1,900 kg, it is compact and light enough for installation on light, tracked chassis, wheeled armored vehicles, or navy boats.

Since 2012 Patria has supplied 60 Nemo mortar turrets to several customers, among them Slovenia (AMV), UAE (installed on naval boats), and Saudi Arabia (LAV-II). The later was acquired under a U.S. Foreign Military Sales contract.

bug2 - 28-5-2020 at 01:20 PM

Tests of Russian 120 mm self-propelled mortar MZ-204 Highlander prototype are complete


The Russian MZ-204 Highlander self-propelled mortar, developed on the basis of the Tigr-M multipurpose wheeled armored vehicle has successfully passed the relevant tests, CEO of the Military Industrial Company (VPK) Alexander Krasovitsky said.

Prototype of the 120 mm MZ-204 Highlander self-propelled mortar system developed by PJSC Motovilikhinskiye Zavody on the basis of a Tigr-M at the exposition of the Science and Technology Forum for Law Enforcement Advanced Technologies at Krasnogorsk (Moscow region), in May 2017 (Picture source:

“This project [Highlander] is at the stage of studying the results of factory tests of a prototype by specialists of law enforcement agencies,” Krasovitsky announced on 26 May, noting that the work on creating the Highlander was carried out on a company initiative basis, not the army.

As the head of VPK noted, the MZ-204 Highlander self-propelled mortar is a Tigr-M armored vehicle with a 120-mm artillery system mounted at the stern of the vehicle with electric guidance in elevation and azimuth. "The main advantage of this development over foreign counterparts is the location of the combat crew of the system inside the Tigr hull during firing," Krasovitsky said.

According to him, the Highlander operates in a fully automated mode and can receive target designation data from unmanned aerial vehicles. "The situation and the data about the targets are displayed on the color multifunctional LCD monitor of the calculation commander," added Krasovitsky.

The head of VPK emphasized that the Highlander could use adjustable ammunition, in particular the 120mm high-precision guided mine Gran.

Prototype of the 120 mm MZ-204 Highlander self-propelled mortar system developed by PJSC Motovilikhinskiye Zavody on the basis of a Tigr-M at the exposition of the Science and Technology Forum for Law Enforcement Advanced Technologies at Krasnogorsk (Moscow region), in May 2017 (Picture source:

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