DSEI 2017

New mortar mixes it up [DSEI17D2]

13 September 2017

Saab (Stand N2-230) has introduced a 120mm mortar round that contains a mix of shapes, materials and fragmentation sizes. The Thor ammunition is being manufactured by Saab Bofors Dynamics Switzerland (SBDS), and is on display at the show.

Building on the experience with the 60mm MAPAM round, Saab says the 120mm Thor is ‘‘pushing the boundaries even further’’, providing more than twice the effect of a conventional 120mm mortar round.

The company says traditional airburst mortar rounds fitted with a proximity fuse disperse fragments in a number of directions, which results in some 50 per cent of fragments scattering upwards, thereby decreasing the effectiveness.

Thor is claimed to reduce this fragment loss by some 20 per cent, which means it is an effective alternative to heavy 155mm artillery, giving operators the option to hit the same targets without having to call on heavier support, Christopher Leitner, head of marketing and sales at SBDS, said.

According to Saab, the ammunition has a range of some 8,500m, and has increased safety due to its insensitive munition, while the cylindrical central body will enhance lethality of the round. It weighs some 15kg and is 770mm in length.

Sweden has ordered the 120mm BAE Systems Bofors mortar system for integration onto its CV90 infantry fighting vehicle, although it is yet to select the ammunition for the weapon.

Switzerland, meanwhile, is trialling the RUAG Cobra 120mm muzzle-loaded mortar integrated into a Piranha armoured personnel carrier chassis.

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