Infantry Weapons

Aselsan rolls out Alkar 81 mm mortar

20 September 2019

Turkish company Aselsan has completed development of its latest Alkar 81 mm mortar weapon system (MWS) using internal research and development funding. The company said production can begin as soon as orders are placed.

The Alkar 81 mm MWS leverages on experience gained from the development of the earlier Alkar 120 mm rifled MWS, which is already in service with the Turkish Gendarmerie, integrated into the rear of the locally produced 4×4 BMC Vuran mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle.

Aselsan's Alkar 81 mm mortar weapon system is turntable-mounted and can be rapidly laid on to the target. (Christopher F Foss)Aselsan's Alkar 81 mm mortar weapon system is turntable-mounted and can be rapidly laid on to the target. (Christopher F Foss)

The mortar system has an overall footprint of 1.85×0.85×1.02 m and can be installed on armoured and soft-skinned platforms. It was integrated onto the rear of an unarmoured long-wheelbase 4×4 Land Rover Defender for trials, although comparable platforms such as the 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser could also be used.

The system comprises the automatic barrel laying system (ABLS), recoil mechanism, and computerised fire-control system (FCS). It is fitted with an 81 mm smoothbore mortar barrel with a length of 1.6 m, with a minimum range of 100 m and a maximum range of 6,400 m depending on the projectile/charge combination.

The turntable-mounted 81 mm mortar features an electrically powered traverse of 180° in azimuth with elevation limits from 45° to 85°. It can be traversed manually if power fails.

According to Aselsan, the system can come into action and fire its first 81 mm mortar bomb within one minute and can come out of action within 10 seconds to escape counter-battery fire.

The FCS enables it to be rapidly laid onto the target with ballistic calculations being carried out using the NATO Armaments Ballistics Kernel (NABK) software. Its integral recoil system provides enough stability to the host platform that external stabilisers are not required.

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