Mobile mortars application in the modern battle
Often regarded as “poor man’s artillery”, the mortar is returning in a big way to front troops, having been injected by new technology to render enhanced precision firepower.
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.
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