control and communication
systems, to achieve quick response automatic laying mode.
The IDF delivered Cardom system takes target acquisition
data, typically from a locally developed Azimuth Atlas Mk 2 system
that provides range, bearing, position and other data from an
observation position and transmits it direct to the Cardom system.
Using electrical servo motors the mortar barrel is then set to the
exact traverse and elevation angles ready for firing.
Although the Cardom is not breech loaded, Soltam
officials claim a burst rate of 16 rpm, followed by a 4 rpm
sustained rate of fire, by a trained crew. Asked wether Soltam
could develop an under armour version, the officials said that a
Turret Mortar Under Armour (TMUAS) long barrel system was
developed by Soltam in the past but discontinued, for commercial
reasons. Soltam is currently providing an automatic breech loading
60mm mortar for the IDF Merkava Mk4
"Cardom" Recoil Mortar System has been qualified for fielding with
the 3d US Army Stryker brigade, and will be coupled to the US
Army's M95 Mortar Fire Control System. Over 300
mortars are currently in production for the US Army. In the past
Cardom also competed for the US Marine Corps' Expeditionary Fire Support
System (EFSS) as
part of the Lockheed Martin team. Work is underway to examine
alternatives to meet the United States Marine Corps requirements
for an expeditionary weapons systems that will make up the 3rd leg
of their fire support triad in support of their "Ship to Objective
Maneuver" requirements and Soltam Systems is supporting a number
of US based prime contractors to propose suitable configuration
options for the Fiscal Year '06 acquisition program.
2006: The Israeli Army is
fielding the Cardom 120mm mortar system with the fire support
company of the Nahal (900) infantry brigade. The advanced mortar,
developed by Soltam, is mounted on a traversable plane which
provides automatic aiming and fire adjustments performed through
the fire control computer or via communications. The mortar
replaces 91mm mortars currently deployed in this role.