Elbit Systems unveiled today the Soltam SPEAR 120mm autonomous, soft recoil mortar system, designed for light wheeled platforms. The company has already tested the system on a modified HMMWV displayed at the 3rd. Fires and Artillery Conference in Zikhron Yaakov, Israel. The new design introduces a second-generation development of the combat proven CARDOM system developed by Soltam, which has been widely deployed with the US Army on Stryker wheeled APCs and Israel Defense Forces Keshet M-113 based self-propelled mortars.
The patent pending recoil system employed with this system reduces the barrel firing load (typically 120 tons) to less than 10 tons, therefore enabling a relatively light chassis to sustain the firing jolt within few seconds. As a result, the SPEAR can sustain a high rate of fire of up to 15 rounds per minute, and deliver accurate fire with a 30 meter circular error point (CEP). The mortar used is a derivative of the smooth-bore, muzzle loaded and turntable-mounted type used by the US Army, NATO and IDF.
The SPEAR has already been tested on a HMMWV platform, it can also deploy on other tactical vehicles, special purpose platforms or pickup trucks enabling deployment of such fire support assets on helicopters and light air transport aircraft. The system can rapidly deploy into action or pack and prepare for movement in just 60 seconds.
As the Keshet autonomous mortar operational with the IDF grond forces, SPEAR is equipped with full digital computerized aiming and navigation system, enabling the mortar to be operated autonomously and aimed without the need for external reference points.