Saudi Arabia's Border Guard has revealed itself as an operator of the 120 mm Alakran rapid-deployment mortar when it displayed the system during the Al-Janadriyah Festival, an annual cultural event in the kingdom.
Made by the Spanish company New Technologies Global Systems (NTGS), the system uses a mechanical system to lower the mortar to the ground so that it faces away from the rear of the vehicle. The operator can then automatically lay the barrel using the computerised fire-control system.
The system is available in 120 mm and 81 mm versions, with the former weighing 300 kg, enabling it to be carried by various types of light vehicle.
NTGS has released a video showing the mortar being deployed, firing two rounds at different targets, and retracting, in just over one minute.
A company representative said in October 2018 that the Alakran had been sold to three undisclosed Middle Eastern countries, one of which requested a cooling system that would prevent propelling charges from prematurely igniting in the barrel during sustained firing. NTGS came up with a solution involving a sleeve that generates water droplets to cool the barrel.
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