While Raytheon does not seem to continue pressing forward with its joint development with IMI, the Israeli company remains determined to proceed its original Guided Mortar Munition GMM-120 weapon. While the U.S. opportunity seems closed, there is considerable interest in such capabilities in worldwide markets, particularly in Asia and Europe. Unlike other solutions, utilizing existing mortar bombs necessitating compromise in performance, IMI developed the GMM-120 as a complete new bomb, with aerodynamics optimized for the trajectory and guidance method, utilizing four canards, hence achieving the longest range and highest accuracy among existing guided mortar munitions.
Even higher precision could be achieved by employing laser guidance, a method pursued by Elbit Systems and its Brazilian subsidiary ARES. A prototype of a laser-guided mortar bomb was on display by ARES at the recent LAAD 2011 exhibition in Brazil. The Laser/GPS Guided Mortar Kit (LG2MK) employs a forebody clamped onto a standard mortar bomb, integrating a GPS receiver, laser seeker, navigation system and an autopilot, controlling four movable fins to provide the necessary trajectory corrections.
The kit can be added on existing mortar bombs, without modification to the tube, transforming standard mortars into ‘laser focused’ munitions (typically, such weapons can hit targets within 1 meter from the designation point). Israel Aerospace Industries has also pursued a similar weapon dubbed ‘Fireball’, as part of its comprehensive arsenal of laser-guided weaponry, but sofar this has not been matured.