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Mortars

A team at Benét Labs is redesigning the 120-mm mortar system currently in use by the US Ar...

Mortars are one of the oldest forms of artillery, evolving from devices that fired stone projectiles a few hundred meters to become a mainstay of any modern army's arsenal. Benét Laboratories is continuing this evolution by tweaking the 120-mm mortar system currently used by the US Army to increase range, reduce weight, improve user safety and cut costs.  Read More

Illustration depicting an XM395 Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative round closing in o...

Mortars have existed for hundreds of years, proving extremely useful in World War I where the high angle of flight of the shells made them an ideal weapon for the muddy trenches of the Western Front. The weapon’s simplicity coupled with the ease with which it can be transported and operated means mortars are still in common use today but, although methods of calculating azimuth and elevation angles for targeting have improved, their greatest weakness still remains their lack of accuracy. Mortars are now moving into the 21st Century with U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan set to receive a first-of-its-kind, GPS-guided 120mm mortar munition that can pinpoint targets at ranges of up to 6,300 m (20,669 ft).  Read More

Mortar Stowage Kit brings automation to the battlefield

Automation offers many advantages regardless of what you're doing, but on the battlefield, it can quite literally be a lifesaver. One of the many interesting exhibits at last week's AUSA Winter Symposium was the M326 120-mm Mortar Stowage Kit. The highly-automated, trailer-mounted system makes it easier for soldiers to quickly set-up and take down a M120 Mortar system on the battlefield, and apart from reducing a physically gruelling team job to the press of a button, the end result is astonishingly quick. The M326 uses an electrical/hydraulic system to hoist the fully assembled 300-pound M120mm Mortar into and out of its trailer and the process is now so quick that soldiers can emplace, fire and stow the system and be on the move again in less than three minutes.  Read More

Compact mortar-based launcher developed for small UAVs

November 19, 2008 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have been the major innovation of modern warfare in the last decade, offering invaluable and unprecedented information about what the enemy is doing. Though US forces currently have 30 unmanned combat air patrols operating 24 hours a day over Iraq and Afghanistan, increasingly, the need for situational awareness on a micro scale is driving technological development of manpackable UAV systems. Now BAE has announced yet another major UAV breakthrough – a compact mortar-based launcher for small Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs).  Read More

The M326 'Quickstow'

October 18, 2007 BAE Systems has won a US$13.9 million contract to supply its M326 120-mm Mortar Stowage System to the U.S. Army. The hydraulic lift system is designed for loading 300-pound mortar tubes out of humvee trailers - freeing up the 3-4 soldiers normally required for the task and facilitating faster firing and movement of the weapon.  Read More

New breech-loading NLOS mortar fires first round

April 13, 2007 The long-awaited Future Combat Systems (FCS) Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) Mortar Firing Platform has had its first outing, successfully firing its first shot (an M931 training round) last week. The successful firing was the first in a series of tests being conducted to confirm the reliability of the NLOS Mortar's unique breech-loading system and its other advanced armament technologies that enable greater rates of fire and firing angles, as well as the ability for Soldiers to fire the weapon under armor - a capability mortar crews don’t have today.  Read More

Skyguard uses lasers to create a protective bubble that defends against rockets, missiles ...

July 14, 2006 Northrop Grumman unveiled its Skyguard laser-based air defense system yesterday offering near-term defense against short-range ballistic missiles, short- and long-range rockets, artillery shells, mortars, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles. Derived from the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL), one Skyguard system is capable of establishing a protective shield roughly 10 kilometres in diameter over an airport, military installation, small city or deployed forces.  Read More

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