The automatic 120-mm mortar set TDA 2R2M was installed on various chassis, including VAB 6x6 (pictured) and Piranha 8x8
TDA (formerly Thomson Brandt Armements), a Thales mortar company specializing many years ago, developed the MO 120 RT 120-mm rifled mortar, which is in service with many infantry and artillery units. Mortar weight 622 kg can be towed by a light machine or simply transported on the suspension of medium-sized multi-purpose helicopters; It has the maximum range of standard 8,1 km ammunition. A two meter long barrel provides good accuracy and when firing with active-reactive mines, the range increases to 13 km. A mortar is deployed in three minutes, the rate of fire can reach 18 rounds per minute. MO 120 RT can be divided into three subsystems, the trunk, the base plate and the carriage (the heaviest part of the mass 285 kg), and accordingly reset by parachutes. Mortar MO 120 RT is in service with 24 countries, including Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey and the United States, where it is deployed by the Marine Corps as part of the Expeditionary Fire Support System (EFSS), which can be transported in an Osprey convertoplane.
EFSS Expeditionary Fire Support System of the US Marine Corps
Based on this mortar, TDA developed the 2R2M mortar (Recoiling Rifled Mounted Mortar - with a recoil rifle system mounted on the machine). The system weighing 1500 kg can be installed in the rear compartment of tracked or wheeled armored personnel carriers weighing 10 from 15 tons thanks to its recoil brake, which absorbs up to 75% forces. Its computerized fire control system, along with a navigation system, allows the first shot to be fired less than a minute after the vehicle stops. Semi-automatic muzzle loading ensures the rate of fire of 10 shots per minute. 2R2M can be connected to a common fire control system, which increases the firepower at the platoon level and provides automatic data transfer between the mortars, the control point and the advanced observer. The ballistic characteristics are identical to those of MO 120 RT, the vertical guidance angles are + 45 ° / + 85 ° and the horizontal guidance is ± 220 °. The number of finished shots depends on the platform, but is usually around 35 units. The 120 2R2M mortar was adopted by the Italian army and installed on the Freccia 8x8 chassis (the first of the 12 conveyors of the mortar complex was delivered at the end of 2014 of the year). It was also adopted by the army of Malaysia and installed on the ACV-19 machine, the army of Oman on the VAB 6x6 armored personnel carrier and in an undetectable quantity by Saudi Arabia. The 2R2M is likely to be installed on a new Griffon 6x6 machine currently being developed for light and medium units of the French army.
Fire from 120-mm mortar Cardom ElbitSystems installed on the M113 BTR; the system can also take 81-mm trunks and is in service with Israel and Spain
Close range of Elbit Cardom 120 mm mortar, originally developed by Soltam. The system now incorporates Elbit's extensive experience in the field of electronics.
Another portable Cardom mortar was developed by Soltam, currently part of Elbit Systems. It can be armed with a 120-mm or 81-mm smooth-bore barrel and equipped with electric drives for automatic guidance, a modern built-in fire control system (FCS), an inertial navigation system and an onboard ballistic computer that can be integrated into the battle control system, which allows you to shoot the first mine after taking a position for 30 seconds.
The 120-mm version has the maximum range of 7000 meters and the rate of fire of 16 shots per minute (the number of shots depends on the type of machine). Cardom mortar can rotate on all 360 °; it can be removed from the car and fire from the ground. In order to increase combat effectiveness, a mortar can shoot in MRSI mode (multiple-round simultaneous impact - simultaneous strike of several projectiles; the angle of the barrel changes and all projectiles fired at a certain time interval arrive at the target simultaneously). The mortar was adopted by the Israeli army with a barrel 120 mm (two contracts signed in 2011 and 2013 years), as well as the Spanish army, but with a barrel 81 mm. Cardom is also the base for the RMS6-L system installed by the Mistral Group on the Stryker 324 machines (known in the US Army as M1129 / M1252 Stryker Mortar Carrier).
The American company Mistral Croup has developed the mortar complex RMS6-L. It is based on Cardom mortar from Elbit Systems, the complex was installed on the machine Stryker
As a result of further development carried out by the Marvin Group, the XM-905 mortar appeared, which entered service with the American special forces at the beginning of 2014. The program was launched as an urgent operational need with the goal of “expanding the bottlenecks” that exist in protecting bases in Afghanistan. The system, also known as AMPS (Automated Mortar Protection System), is based on a circular base plate with three openers and three columns, on which the RMS6-L itself is installed. The electric drive system is connected to the OMS in order to minimize preparation for firing, the plate can rotate 360 ° in both directions. The MSA is able to produce accurate solutions even when the mortar is mounted on a slope. In March, the Mistral Group was awarded a contract for a new XM-2013 fire control system for the mortar, which was called EMTAS (Enhanced Mortar Target Acquisition System). At one time (in the spring of 905), nine such systems were deployed and tested in Afghanistan. The US Army also intends to expand the community of users of the mortar complex by supplying it to its special-purpose units (“green berets”).
AMPS mortar system
A laser-guided missile munition from the Elbit is obtained by adding a homing head and a JDAM kit (a set of steering wheels and a guidance system for conventional bombs) to a standard 120-mm mortar ammunition. On the left, the set mounted on the projectile, on the right, the individual elements of the set
Providing infantry with a highly mobile large-caliber indirect firing system was the goal of the Elbit Systems designers when they began work on the Spear system. As a result, they developed a new recoil device, reducing the recoil forces to a threshold of 10 tons, which allows the Spear system to be installed on Humvee-class vehicles without stabilizing supports. The system weighs less than a ton without ammunition, ammunition is 36 shots with charges. The range and rate of fire are the same as that of the Cardom mortar, loading is only manual and therefore requires a two-person calculation. The system is equipped with a computerized navigation and sighting system with an orientation module and clinometers (inclinometers). When receiving data from these systems, the MSA (which can be integrated with most combat control systems) by means of electric drives accurately aligns the mortar barrel in azimuth and elevation. A machine with a Spear mortar can open fire 60 seconds after stopping and shoot with an accuracy of 30 meters. With the Spear system, infantry units with light vehicles receive a mobile mortar of large caliber, which makes it possible to have only one regular type of vehicle for transporting personnel, direct and indirect guidance systems. The Israeli army has shown interest in Elbit and claim that several potential foreign customers lined up for this system.
About 15 years ago, the Swiss company Ruag developed a portable 120-mm smooth-bore mortar and gave it the name Bighorn (bighorn sheep). The hydraulic system provides guidance and semi-automatic loading, while the inertial navigation and positioning system provides accurate guidance of the mortar, regardless of whether there is a GPS or not. The accuracy is 0,5% of the horizontal range and 0,25% in height. Azimuth guidance is performed in the ± 190 ° sector (optionally, when adding a slip ring, circular rotation of 360 ° is possible), vertical guidance angles are + 45 ° / + 85 °. The semi-automatic loader system allows you to shoot four shots in less than 20 seconds, an intense fire mode is 8-12 shots per minute and a long rate of fire 4 shots per minute to 150 shots. The maximum range exceeds 9000 meters depending on the type of ammunition. This program was stopped in due time, but in February 2015 of the year the Swiss company showed the Cobra system - a completely modernized version of Bighorn. In addition to the modern “design” in the Cobra system, all the hydraulics were replaced with electric drives and a modern MSA was installed. The recoil force is 30 tons and lasts just 30 milliseconds, which allows you to install a mortar on a two-axle vehicle. Brand new ballistic computer and fire control system can be easily integrated into any artillery operational control system. The Cobra semi-automatic loading system allows you to shoot 4 mines in less than 20 seconds (the safety system prevents double loading). According to Ruag, a car with an installed Cobra complex can take a position, take shots from 6 to 10 (the first leaves the barrel in 60 seconds) and withdraw from it in less than two minutes. The two-meter barrel (in the case of a limited volume, a barrel with a length of 1,6 meter can be installed) accepts any current ammunition for smooth-bore barrels, even elongated guided projectiles. The Cobra complex also includes built-in training tools, as well as an insert 81-mm barrel, which makes it possible to conduct combat training that is close to combat conditions, at a lower cost and with a reduced range. When developing the Cobra mortar, some mass savings were achieved, it weighs 1200 kg without a loading system and 1350 kg with it. Ruag has already begun firing tests needed to confirm the new architecture (artillery components taken from Bighorn have already fired over 2000 shots). The Cobra system has already been installed on the Piranha machine (offered mainly for 8x8 platforms). Negotiations are underway with several countries to acquire this system.
The Coag mortar complex from Ruag is the latest addition to the vehicle 120-mm mortar systems. The complex, equipped only with electric drives, is based mainly on the previous version of Bighorn.
Singapore-based STK Engineering exported its Srams mortar to the United Arab Emirates, where it was installed on an RG-31 vehicle. The entire system was designated Agrab 1.
The Amos twinned 120-mm mortar with government loading of the production of the Finnish company Patria on the chassis of the Patria AMV is in service with the Finnish army
120-mm Srams smoothbore mortar (Super Rapid Advanced Mortar System - a promising ultra-fast mortar system) developed by Singaporean ST Engineering is in service with Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, where it is installed on the articulated Bronco all-terrain vehicle and the RG31 mini-protected vehicle, respectively. The mortar has a barrel length of 1,8 meter, the semi-automatic loader of the complex allows you to achieve the rate of fire of 10 shots per minute. With an active-missile projectile, the maximum range reaches 9 km, the vertical guidance angles are + 40 ° / + 80 °, while the platform rotates in the sector ± 28 °. The total mass of the system is less than 1200 kg, the recoil forces are less than 26 tons (it was installed on the Spider vehicles of ST Engineering and also on the Humvee). In the configuration for the Singapore Army, it is installed in the rear module Bronco, and in the case of the RG31 on its rear loading platform. The first batch of Srams mortars was delivered to the UAE and installed on an RG31 Mk5 armored car by the International Golden Group; This self-propelled mortar was called the Agrab 1. The second batch of 72 mortars is mounted on an RG31 Mk6E armored car. This system received the designation Agrab 2; its supplies continue. The latter version is equipped with the Selex ES FIN3110 navigation system and, like the first Agrab 1 version, the Arachnida Arachnida fire control system from the Denel Land System.
Turret mortars are another type of mortar mounted on vehicles. Such systems provide the crew with full protection. In general, these systems are more constructively complex, have a large mass, although the first shot, as a rule, fires off faster, since there is no need to bring the mortar into a fighting position after stopping the machine, just point at the azimuth and elevation.
At the end of 90, Patria Hagglunds Oy, a joint venture between Patria and BAE Systems Hagglunds, developed the Amos turret as an indirect fire system for wheeled or tracked armored personnel carriers and high-speed combat boats. With a weight of 3600 kg, the Amos turret is armed with two three-meter 120-mm smooth-bore mortar bomber with a hydropneumatic recoil mechanism. The turret rotates around 360 °, while the vertical angles are –3 ° / + 85 ° (motorized guidance). The FCS automatically brings the guns to the shooting position, after which the first shot is fired in less than 30 seconds. The loading is semi-automatic, the first four shots are fired in five seconds. The maximum rate of fire is 16 shots per minute, and the maximum continuous rate is 10 shots per minute. The long barrel provides long range over 10 km, and the OMS in MRSI mode allows you to launch up to 10 projectiles. After the development contract signed in 2003, the Patria AMV 2010 machines with the Amos tower were ordered by the Finnish army in 18; The first deliveries took place in 2013.
In 2006, Patria modified the turret for the installation of a lighter, single-barrel Nemo mortar. He retained the same barrel and most of the characteristics regarding vertical angles, guidance and loading systems, but of course the initial rate of fire dropped to three shots in 15 seconds. The maximum rate of fire is 10 shots per minute, and a long rate of fire is six shots per minute. Nemo's mortar weighs 1700 kg (more than half the size of Amos), making it compatible with 6x6 platforms and lighter ships. The first buyer of the system was an unnamed country from the Middle East, but everyone understands that this is the National Guard of Saudi Arabia, which, under the contract 2010, ordered 36 LAV armored personnel carriers with a Nemo mortar from GDLS-Canada. Orders were also received for installation of the system on offshore platforms. According to the company Patria, interesting opportunities for Nemo appear in Europe, the Middle East and North America. In 2012, Patria introduced the Nemo Plus concept by installing the Kongsberg Protector Super Lite remotely controlled combat module and situational awareness system on the mortar tower. In addition, in 2014, Patria introduced a commander-type training simulator that can be used for combat training at various levels. A typical platoon configuration includes three jobs, the position of the gunner and the position of the instructor-operator. At the beginning of 2015, Patria and Kongsberg announced a joint agreement to conduct a combat vehicle and weapon system program in one of the countries in the Middle East.
2С1 "Carnation" - Soviet 122-mm regimental self-propelled howitzer
Using the experience of modernizing a self-propelled howitzer 2С1 "Gvozdika" of Soviet origin, the Polish company Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) developed a tower mortar and gave it the designation RAK 120. The armament is a single 120-mm mortar with a smooth barrel with a length of 3000 mm, which gives the maximum range of 10 km. The Polish configuration is equipped with an integrated fire control system and Topaz communications, and therefore the guidance is either fully automatic or carried out by means of a joystick (there is a manual backup branch). The position of the car is provided by the inertial navigation system Talin 5000, connected to the GPS and odometer, which guarantees the location determination even in the absence of a GPS signal. The actuators are electric, the vertical angles are –3 ° / + 80 °, and the horizontal angles are 360 °. The automatic loader allows you to load projectiles at all vertical corners, ammunition and 20 ready shots are placed in the rear turret niche, 40 shots are also placed in the rear compartment of the vehicle. The rate of fire ranges from six to eight shots per minute, the system can shoot at least three rounds in MRSI mode. The tower can also be used for direct fire at ranges up to 500 meters. Transition time is estimated to be less than 30 seconds; the crew of the car is two or three people and the tower has a standard protection that corresponds to the first level of security standard STANAG.
After the twin-barrel tower, Patria developed the Nemo single-barrel light tower.
RAK 120-mm tower mortar, developed by the Polish company Huta Stalowa Wola, can be mounted on tracked or wheeled armored vehicles
The RAK 120 turret mortar is mounted on Rosomak 8x8 armored personnel carrier. The system was ordered by the Polish army.
Poland chose RAK 120, but there was no order for this system at first; eight towers of the first batch were installed on the Rosomak 8x8 wheeled vehicle. However, in 2013, the Polish Ministry of Defense ordered another batch of Rosomak machines, the 80 of which should have a mortar tower installed, and the other 43 should be equipped in the configuration of the control room and the machine of advanced observers. HSW also showed a tower on the Marder BMP, which was shown at MSPO 2013 and 2014 to attract export orders.
At the beginning of the 80-s, the Soviet Union began developing a tower with an 120-mm rifled mortar with a government-run 2A60 loading for light wheeled and tracked chassis, such as the BTR-80 and BTR-D. In azimuth, the turret rotation is limited to the 70 ° sector, while the vertical guidance angles are –4 ° / + 80 °. The tracked variant under the designation 2C9 Nona, apparently, is no longer offered on the market, unlike the 2X3 Nona-SVK wheeled and Nona-K towed mortars, which are being actively offered to other countries. The maximum rate of fire reaches 10 shots per minute, the rate of continuous fire does not exceed four shots per minute. The maximum range of traditional ammunition is 8,8 km and active-missile 12,8 km. The mortar is in service with many former Soviet republics, the most recent foreign order was most likely the order of Venezuela on 18 systems. A further development of the system was a self-propelled mortar 2C31 Vienna based on the BMP-3 with a mortar 2A80 with a longer barrel. The range when firing standard ammunition increased to 13 km.
China has managed to quickly develop such systems, as a rule, due to the so-called reverse engineering. The first system was the PLL-05 based on the WMZ 551 6xNNXX chassis with a tower mortar installed in the rear. The mortar tower spins on all 6 °. The machine is equipped with a semi-automatic loader system, a mortar can fire five types of ammunition, among them a cumulative anti-tank for firing direct fire at 360 meters. For export orders, a mortar was installed on an armored personnel carrier Type 600P 07x8. The system received the designation Type 8PA, Tanzania, a regular customer of Chinese armaments, most likely became the first buyer.
At IDEX 2015, Sudanese company Military Industrial Complex presented the 120-mm self-propelled mortar based on the Khatim-2 chassis, a very spartan solution for the African market
Mortar WIESEL from the company RHEINMETALL
The decision of the German army to postpone the purchase of the lePzMr system (leichter Panzermorser, light armored mortar), also known as the Mortar Fighting System and based on the Wiesel 2 light tracked vehicle, de facto halted the arming of the German light infantry. The German army received just one system, consisting of eight Wiesel self-propelled mortars, two Wiesel commander vehicles, four Mungo ammunition transporters and about a new generation 6000 ammunition. The system is equipped with information and control system Adler DVA. According to the latest information, the full operation of the entire system began with 2015, while the infantry units are switching to standard 81-mm mortars.
The Wiesel 2 mortar is based on the 120-mm smooth-bore mortar from Tampella (now Patria), already in service with the German army. The barrel is reinforced to withstand the higher pressures created by new ammunition. The barrel, the cradle, the chock and the yoke are fixed on the rotary axis; of the total 310 kg 180 kg accounted for the oscillating mass of the gun. The LMS allows you to open fire in less than 60 seconds after being stopped. A forward-directed mortar can be rotated in the ± 30 ° sector, vertical guidance angles are + 35 ° / + 85 °. The barrel length of 1700 mm and new ammunition can reach the range of 8 km. The rate of fire is three shots in 20 seconds and 18 shots in 180 seconds; The ammunition on board consists of 25 shots and two guided munitions. Manual charging, for this trunk is in a horizontal position; therefore, it is relatively short. The crew of three people working under the protection of armor, before firing in the back of the machine with the help of a hydraulic drive, two stabilizing supports are put forward. Mortar complexes based on the Wiesel 2 machine were designed to arm the airborne brigades of the German army and thus had to be transported inside the CH-53 helicopters. The Mortar Fighting System remains in the Rheinmetall portfolio and is also offered for export. The company evaluates the installation of mortars on different platforms and is ready to cooperate with manufacturers of other machines.
The decision of the German government to stop purchasing Wiesel 2 may reflect the country's desire not to get too deeply involved in current conflicts.
Using its experience in developing a PGK (Precision Guided Kit) GPS-based precision guidance kit, Alliant Techsystems, with an eye to the American Army’s accelerated AMPI (Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative) precision mortar program, developed a similar kit designed to improve the accuracy of 120-mm mortar mines shot from smooth-walled trunks. In the MPK (Mortar Precision Kit) mortar accuracy improvement kit, the fixed nose section with guide wheels was retained, but a tail subsystem was added with a folding tail assembly, which increases the stability of the projectile in flight. Both parts are mounted on an 120 mm M934 high explosive fragmentation projectile. The APMI requirements provide for a circular probable deviation (QUO) of less than 10 meters compared to the QUO 136 meters for 120-mm smooth-bore mortars at their maximum range, which is reduced to 50 meters using modern high-precision positioning and targeting systems. AMPI ammunition is programmed like PGK artillery shells using the Enhanced Portable Inductive Artillery Fuze Setter, an advanced induction fuze installer. The MPK kit was deployed in March 2011 of the year in Afghanistan, where a month later the first projectile was fired with the MPK kit installed. However, since then the American army has not issued more contracts for the kit, and ATK is now looking for foreign partners to expand the market for their systems.
The Mortar Precision Kit was tested in Afghanistan, but the lack of large orders forces ATK to look for foreign partners in order to expand its market.
ATK is also participating with General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems in the Perm (Precision Extended Range Munition) high-precision ammunition program. The goal of the program is to provide the Marine Corps with a new ammunition, which will increase the range of its Expeditionary Fire Support System expeditionary fire support system on the one hand and significantly increase accuracy with the other (target CEP requirement less than 20 meters at 18 km distance). The second participant in the program is a team consisting of Raytheon and Israel Military Industries. An Israeli company has developed Guided Mortar Munition (GMM120) guided mortar shells for 120-mm smooth-bore mortars. It is equipped with a GPS system and has a range of 9 km. The projectile has four steering surfaces that unfold in the tail section after leaving the barrel. The guidance signals from the Pure Heart control unit (inertial / GPS) rotate the surfaces so that the projectile comes as close as possible to the target (according to IMI KVO 10 meters). For this projectile, a variant with a semi-active nasal homing head with a QUO less than one and a half meters can also be developed. In February, 2014, the company Israel Military Industries announced that the GMM120 version of its mortar mine with a GPS system passed the qualification tests in the Israeli army.
Another Israeli company, Elbit Systems, developed the 120-mm laser guidance kit for mortar ammunition, which is a variant of the JDAM kit (a set of steering wheels and a guidance system for conventional bombs). The kit includes a power supply, electronics, guided nasal surfaces and a homing head. With a mass less than 3 kg, the kit provides a wide field of view, it is compatible with target indicators of the NATO standard and provides one meter accuracy. However, Elbit Systems is considering the possibility of its further improvement. One of the weak points of laser-guided mortar shells is that they need a pointer to highlight the target, while very often mortars are used to neutralize targets outside the line of sight. Targeting from an aerial platform is the best option; however, the infantry does not have such aircraft. Thus, the idea is to use a manual launch UAV that could highlight targets. And here the mass comes into play, the carrying capacity of such devices is quite small. Consequently, it is necessary to develop homing heads with much better sensitivity, which would allow to direct the projectile in the final part of the trajectory with a very weak reflection of the signal from the target. The Israeli company is actively working on this, but the integration of the GPS guidance system is also on its own. It must be recalled that Elbit is also developing drones and its Skylark 2 drone could be an optimal target designator.
The Israeli company MTC Industries & Research Carmiel manufactures a nose rudder control system for 120-mm mortar mines and 122-mm missiles
The fact that Israeli companies are extremely active in the field of 120-mm mortar ammunition should not surprise anyone, because the Israeli army decided to replace all their 81-mm mortars with a larger caliber, deploying one platoon with four barrels to the battalion. At AUSA 2014, another Israeli company MTC Industries & Research Carmiel showed its CAS-0313 nasal rudder control system, in which each surface is controlled by a separate DC motor. The angular position of each rudder is measured by a potentiometer, and the engine speed is determined by an electronic controller (not included). The system has a length of 212 mm, diameter 119 mm, wingspan 370 mm. Wings finish after start. This system is also offered for 122-mm rockets.
The Russian company KBP developed 120-mm guided ammunition Gran. It is shot from smooth-bore mortars, the maximum radius of action is 9 km. The mass of the projectile 27 kg, length 1200 mm, the warhead fragmentation-explosive with a mass of explosive 5,3 kg. It is designed to defeat single and group, fixed and moving, armored and unarmored targets. The lethal radius for unprotected targets is 120 meters. The target is illuminated by the portable artillery fire control system Malachite. After capturing the target, a shot is fired at Gran. After leaving the trunk, the tail rudders unfold, after which the main engine turns on. Then the gyroscope is activated and after the projectile begins to orient in the direction of the target with the help of the nose rudders, the nose section is separated.
The laser-guided 120-mm mortar mine works in conjunction with the laser target designator Malachite
155-mm artillery guided missile Krasnopol