For generations, mortars have lacked capability to attack
"hard" targets, such as armour and fortified bunkers, their main task
being the tactical commander's "hip pocket" weapon for battlefield
suppression, illumination and obscuration missions.
These days new mortar systems, using latest state-of-the art
technologies, are more versatile, multi-mission and highly lethal
firepower, giving the tactical commander highly flexible
in-house combat support, to
which he so far had no access.
While light and medium man-portable mortars are still in vogue,
the key element in tactical firepower have become 120mm mortars, which,
combined with mobility,
protection and advanced
"smart" mortar munitions
render devastatingly effective and accurate firepower, never attained at such tactical combat level.
This article will deal mainly with the new mobile mortar
platforms, some of which have already seen action during the latest
Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
mortar, from 2nd Battalion, 70 Armor fire a
120 mm mortar round north of the town of Kifl south of Baghdad.