Military Review

Improving 120 mm Mortars

Improving 120 mm Mortars

The US Marine Corps ordered the first 42 120-mm mortars PERM (Precision Extended Range Munition - precision extended range ammunition). They have a firing range of about 17 kilometers and a built-in guidance system that ensures accuracy of hitting about 20 meters. Several companies will present their versions of PERM and, as a result of the competition that will last for 2 years, the most reliable among them will be chosen. This is part of the efforts of the Marine Corps to develop improved 120-mm mortars.

Three years ago, after six years of developing and shuffling various papers, the US Marine Corps finally ordered the first twenty models of the EFSS (expeditionary fire support system). Earlier in the 2009, six systems were handed over to the marine infantry battalion for testing (each of which consisted of two vehicles, one 120-mm mortar, a trailer with ammunition and other equipment).

The goal of the EFSS was to create a new lightweight, self-propelled artillery system. Initially, the developers combined existing commercial vehicles, the Supacat HMT (High Mobile Transport), with an 120-mm mortar system. The off-road HMT with the wheel formula 4х4 weighs seven tons and has a payload capacity of 3.2 tons. It is equipped with an engine in 180 horsepower, and the 4x4 drive is optimized for traveling over rough terrain. The cabin was specially modified to accommodate five armed crew members.

There were significant delays in the project related to the HMT transportability test on the MV-22 and CH-53E. The MV-22 convertible turned out to be too narrow for the HMT and most other available vehicles. Marines had to choose another vehicle ITV (Internally Transportable Jeep). It is a modified version of the Growler car - a jeep, usually selling for about $ 8000. However, after all the changes made, it cost the marines $ 100000 for each ITV. In principle, the Growler is a modification of the old (replaced by the Hummer in 1980-x) M-151 Jeep.

The mortar weighs 818 kg and is mounted on a computer-controlled carriage. The firing range of conventional 120-mm shells is 8.2 kilometers or 17 kilometers with mines with a jet accelerator. This is smaller than the 155 mm howitzer, but the Marines believe that if necessary aviation and missiles will be able to hit targets at a greater distance. Charging the mortar from the breech provides a high rate of fire, the fire control system receives data directly from advanced observers and quickly directs a 120 mm mortar at the target. EFSS is able to hit the target within minutes after the receipt of the order. The system allows you to shoot 20 shells in two minutes and uses a fire control system equipped with GPS, which ensures accuracy comparable to any other artillery system.

120-mm mortar ammunition weighs about half the size of 155-mm projectiles. This difference is compensated by a higher rate of fire and the use of several types of cluster munitions. For example, one such mine will destroy most of the armored vehicles and kill or injure most enemy personnel in the square of 100x100 meters. Each of the 32 ammunition of this mine pierces 100-mm armor, thus striking armored vehicles with thin upper armor.

Marines preferred 120-mm mortar 155-mm howitzer, because the mortar is easier, faster, more mobile, and using the appropriate ammunition is as destructive as large howitzers.

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  1. Prohor
    Prohor 14 September 2012 09: 15
    I honestly don’t understand - why does the US need such a weapon?
    In addition to Russian air defense, no one can resist the Americans in the air, but why would the marine corps accurately destroy targets 17 km from themselves, when an airplane can fly in and destroy anything at least at 17, at least 170, and at least 1700 km from this same infantry ?
    1. Andrey_K
      Andrey_K 14 September 2012 10: 50
      The following concept of military operations is obvious: small special forces in jeeps travel around the country and control a large territory with small forces.
      The military forces are sparse and mobile and it is difficult to cover them with one volley strike, but they themselves can cause significant damage.

      And the planes will not be in time everywhere, if there is a full-scale war, and the enemy uses similar tactics (crushes and disperses his forces), then it may be necessary to hit thousands of targets per day, and planes can only carry out dozens of flights.
      And, by the way, if the enemy still has air defense systems intact, this may be an early stage strategy - casting a large number of such units so that they train and destroy air defense, but after that the bombing will begin.
      1. curious
        curious 14 September 2012 11: 52
        In a conventional mortar, guided ammunition comes as a complement to conventional. But to increase the accuracy and improve the characteristics of conventional mines, it would be worthwhile to pay attention to us
  2. Sasha 19871987
    Sasha 19871987 14 September 2012 09: 47
    so then prokhor is right
  3. vastorg
    vastorg 14 September 2012 11: 54
    laughing a new word in military science under state control in the air artillery and mortars in particular are not needed)))
    1. Prohor
      Prohor 14 September 2012 12: 56
      Precision and extremely expensive ammunition - not needed.
  4. vastorg
    vastorg 14 September 2012 13: 26
    Well, why are they .. immediately it is necessary to use omp and business then
    “On September 13, 2012 at 5 a.m. when the command was transferred to the mortar commander, the platoon commander mixed up the main direction of fire, which led to a change in the direction of fire by 20 meters. As a result, a gap of three 800 mm occurred. mortar mines in the territory of boarding school No. 120 in Buinaksk. ”
    1. Prohor
      Prohor 14 September 2012 15: 03
      And a high-precision mine at such a woodpecker - flew into the window of the school, I would! laughing
    2. Kibb
      Kibb 14 September 2012 15: 50
      "Daredevil" in Afghanistan they say flew straight into the caves
  5. AlexxxNik
    AlexxxNik 14 September 2012 18: 12
    if I understand correctly, then this is a low-budget non-s, it’s obvious that the crisis among the Amers has played out in earnest
  6. ALEXXX1983
    ALEXXX1983 24 October 2012 21: 07
    HMT 4x4 cross-country vehicle weighs seven tons ...

    ... a bit too much for a small unarmored (yes armor - even no doors) car with an engine of 180 mares wassat