IDEX 2017

Pandora’s box [IDEX17D1]

18 February 2017

In close co-operation with a number of potential customers, including the United Arab Emirates Navy, Patria is launching a containerised version of the NEMO 120mm turret-mounted mortar system at IDEX.

“We drafted our first plans for this kind of weapon more than 10 years ago and even applied for a patent. The concept now meets customer needs,” said Kari Reunamaki, vice president for Patria weapons product line.

The Patria NEMO Container consists of a standard 20x8x8ft container, which contains the NEMO 120mm mortar, about 100 rounds of ammunition, an air-conditioning system, an auxiliary power unit, and a crew of three consisting of the gunner and two ammunition loaders.

It can be rapidly transported by a truck or ship to exactly where it is required and if needed, could be fired from these platforms. It would be a very useful asset to provide protection for a forward operating base or even in a coastal defence role.

The 120mm smoothbore mortar can fire a wide range of mortar bombs including high-explosive, smoke and illuminating, with a maximum range of 10,000m. Turret traverse is electric through 360° with elevation from -3 to +85° and it can carry out multiple round simultaneous impact (MRSI) fire missions.

A key feature of the NEMO 120mm is that it also has a very useful direct fire capability.

If required, the NEMO container can also be supplied fitted with a nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection system and ballistic protection. Ballistic protection could be of the ceramic type or in the form of steel plates 8 to 10mm thick, but this would increase the weight by about three tonnes.

For its new role, the standard ISO container has been strengthened with an additional support frame built between the external and internal cladding, which helps to absorb recoil.

When travelling, the NEMO 120mm mortar turret is completely hidden by the transport cover.

When deployed for firing, the turret is rotated 180° so that the muzzle is located beyond the edge of the container to avoid excessive stress in the container from muzzle blast.

The container itself is manufactured by Nokian Metallirakenne, with Patria installing the 120mm NEMO and its crew station that includes the computers, controls, cabling and seats.

The original NEMO 120mm mortar is already in service with two customers. The Saudi Arabian National Guard has 36 NEMO 120mm turret-mounted mortar systems installed on a recent batch of General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) 8x8 platforms. The UAE has taken delivery of eight NEMO 120mm turret-mounted mortars optimised for the harsher naval role and these have been installed on coastal craft.

(437 words)