skip to main content

Switzerland ready to buy Cobra 120 mm mortar systems

Following extensive trials, the Swiss Army is expected to place a contract for a new 120 mm self-propelled (SP) mortar system in the next 6–12 months, according to Captain Lars Kristian Lehman of the Swiss Armed Forces.

Capt Lehman revealed the forthcoming contract in March at the Omega Conferences & Events’ Mortar Systems Conference in Bristol, UK. A contract signing has been expected since the Swiss Army first began firing trials with the system in May 2016.

When fielded, the 120 mm SP mortar system will fill a gap in the army’s indirect firepower capability, between its 81 mm mortar systems and its 155 mm/47-calibre upgraded M109L47 series self-propelled artillery systems.

The RUAG Defence Cobra 120 mm smoothbore mortar system integrated into the rear of a GDLS-MOWAG Piranha 3+ 8×8 platform (RUAG Defence)

The RUAG Defence Cobra 120 mm smoothbore mortar system integrated into the rear of a GDLS-MOWAG Piranha 3+ 8×8 platform (RUAG Defence)

The Swiss Army plans to order 32 RUAG Defence 120 mm Cobra turntable-mounted smoothbore mortar systems that are to be mounted in the rear of new General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS)-MOWAG 8×8 Piranha 3+ armoured vehicle (Piranha 4 in Swiss service).

RUAG Defence is to supply the 120 mm mortar systems to GDELS-MOWAG, who will integrate them into the newbuild Piranha 4 8×8s that have a slightly raised roofline to the rear to accommodate the mortar. That work will be undertaken at the main GDELS-MOWAG facility at Kreuzlingen, Switzerland, where the Piranha family of vehicles is manufactured.

The system is to have a crew of four (driver, commander, and two ammunition loaders), a maximum gross vehicle weight of up to 30 tonnes, and a maximum road speed of 90 km/h.

A GDELS-MOWAG Piranha with the RUAG Defence Combat 120 mm smoothbore mortar deployed and ready to fire. (RUAG Defence)

A GDELS-MOWAG Piranha with the RUAG Defence Combat 120 mm smoothbore mortar deployed and ready to fire. (RUAG Defence)

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...