Infantry Weapons

DSEI 2019: EXPAL launches new mortar aiming and safety systems

11 September 2019

The E-COMPAX mortar aiming system at the DSEI 2019 exhibition. Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

Spain's EXPAL Systems unveiled two new mortar components at the DSEI show on 10 September.

The E-COMPAX electronic mortar aiming system provides orientation and elevation aiming giving mortar teams fast and accurate fire support.

According to EXPAL Systems product manager Jose Maria Fajardo, development of the system started two years ago. The company is marketing the system across potential users in Europe, with testing being undertaken by the company and by potential European users.

The E-COMPAX combines inertial AMENS gyroscopes and accelerometers, alongside a fluxgate electronic compass and a video camera, with potential night-vision image intensifiers also a possibility for development.

During the systems' orientation phase, it takes 10 seconds to find north ahead before mounting on the bipod, with targeting data entered via a keyboard or tablet, or from a centralised fire-control system. The operator adjusts the mortar using existing cranking handles. Using the E-COMPAX, total aiming time for a mortar is reduced to less than 30 seconds. Adjustments to a mortar's aim after each firing are reduced to less than 5 seconds.

"The benefit of this system is that it greatly reduces the time to fire, improves accuracy, and reduces the amount of stress on the crew," Fajardo said.

The E-COMPAX is platform agnostic, and can be integrated onto any 60 mm, 80/81 mm, and 120 mm mortar tubes, being anchored to the mortar bipod on a NATO-standard mounting dovetail. The system is designed to replace a standard basic optical sight system.

EXPAL Systems also unveiled the new M-COUNTER system to monitor mortar tube performance for maintenance and safety. The M-COUNTER sensor is mounted on a bracket around the mortar tube, and records information for engineering support staff including date of firing, rate of fire, and number of bombs fired.

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