Land Platforms

France set to field Griffon 120 mm mortar system

19 November 2017

The French Army will field a mortar-equipped variant of the 6x6 Griffon armoured personnel carrier (APC) fitted with the TDA Armements SAS120 mm 2R2M Recoiling Rifled Mortar (RRM) as part of its SCORPION vehicle recapitalisation programme.

The Griffon is officially called the Véhicule Blindé Multi Role (VBMR) and is being developed by a consortium comprising Nexter Systems, Renault Trucks Defense, and Thales Communications & Security.

The 120 mm 2R2M RRM mortar variant is called the Mortier Embarqué Pour l’Appui au Contact (MEPAC). The vehicle’s projected in-service date is not presently known.Renault Trucks Defense 6×6 VAB fitted with the TDA Armements SAS 120 mm 2R2M Recoiling Rifled Mounted Mortar. (Christopher F Foss)Renault Trucks Defense 6×6 VAB fitted with the TDA Armements SAS 120 mm 2R2M Recoiling Rifled Mounted Mortar. (Christopher F Foss)

The weapon will be installed in the rear of the Griffon and fire through the open hatches. A computerised fire control system (FCS) and navigation system provide increased accuracy.

In addition to firing conventional natures of 120 mm ammunition including high-explosive (HE), smoke, illuminating and rocket assisted projectiles, it will also fire a precision guided munition (PGM) currently under development.

This ammunition is the same as that used in the currently deployed TDA Armements SAS 120 mm MO-120-RT towed mortar system. Maximum range depends on projectile type and charge, but it is 8,135 m using a standard HE mortar bomb.

The 2R2M RRM mortar is installed on a turntable mount with powered traverse and elevation, and is fitted with a load assist device.

The weapon was originally developed by the company as a private venture and has already been tested in France integrated into a 6×6 version of Renault Trucks Defense Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé (VAB) as well as a General Dynamics European Land Systems 8×8 MOWAG Piranha.

It is known to have been adopted by Italy on its 8×8 Freccia and tracked Dardo infantry fighting vehicles, Malaysia’s FNSS ACV-19 (with the AV8 platform following soon), Oman’s upgraded 6×6 VAB, and Saudi Arabia’s upgraded M113 series APCs.

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