Africa Aerospace & Defence 2016

Scorpion shows off its sting [AAD16D2]

15 September 2016

The Scorpion Mobile Mortar System (MMS) has been developed by Thales South Africa to provide rapid reaction and special forces units with their own integrated indirect fire support capability.

Development of Scorpion is complete and in addition to the prototype that has been built for qualification purposes, three preproduction systems have been built and production can commence when orders are placed.

The example being shown at AAD is on the outside display area and is based on a Toyota Land Cruiser (4x4) light vehicle platform.

This is fitted with a Denel 81mm mortar system on a special platform in the rear of the vehicle, which has been designed to absorb the shock of the mortar being fired without the need for deploying stabilisers.

Scorpion has electric traverse through a full 360° and is laid onto the target using a Thales South Africa computerised fire control system (FCS), which is installed in the two-person cab. The 81mm mortar is laid onto the target by remote control. The FCS also includes a power interface to the power supply of the platform and in addition there is an interface data communication unit, which is the link between the Scorpion and the onboard communication system Target information can be supplied to the Scorpion by a dismounted mortar fire control team or using a mast-mounted sight integrated onto the platform.

On the example shown, this is installed on the left side of the rear platform and includes a Thales Sophie binocular/thermal imager, which also includes a laser rangefinder. This enables targets to be rapidly detected and engaged under almost all weather conditions.

Scorpion would typically carry 22 rounds of 81mm mortar ammunition and use shoot-and- scoot methods of target engagement so as to avoid counter battery fire. Other mortars could be installed, including a Russian 82mm mortar or a 60mm mortar.

This would typically be supplied by the end user as government furnished equipment.

A 107mm (12-round) multiple rocket launcher could also be installed in place of the mortar.

While the first example of the Scorpion is mounted on the rear of a Toyota Land Cruiser (4x4) light vehicle, the system can be integrated onto the rear of similar 4x4 light vehicles.

(367 words)