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Switzerland orders more 120 mm mortar systems

Armasuisse has awarded a CHF175 million contract to GDELS-Mowag for 16 more Mörser 16 120 mm self-propelled mortars with RUAG's turntable-mounted Cobra system. (RUAG)

Armasuisse, the Swiss Federal Office for Defence Procurement, has awarded a contract to General Dynamics European Land Systems-Mowag (GDELS-Mowag) for 16 more Mörser 16 120 mm mortar systems, the company and the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) announced on 12 April. RUAG has been subcontracted to deliver its Cobra mortar for installation in the GDELS Piranha 8×8 carrier platform.

The Swiss parliament approved the CHF175 million (USD195 million) procurement as part of the Armeebotschaft (Armed Forces Message) 2022 budget on 15 September. This also includes the procurement of ammunition supply trucks and equipment for operational logistics. An Armasuisse spokesperson told Janes on 18 April that 12 Iveco Trakker 8×8 protected trucks were being procured as ammunition supply vehicles.

Armasuisse was exercising an option for 16 more mortar systems in the contract it signed with GDELS-Mowag for 32 Mörser 16s in February 2021.

Initial tests of the Cobra were conducted by the Swiss army in 2020.

DDPS reported that the 32 mortar systems of the first tranche are in production, with delivery to the Swiss army scheduled for 2024–25, followed by the production of the 12 second tranche Mörser 16s for delivery in 2026. DDPS expected the procurement of additional materiel, especially ammunition, to extend the completion of the project from 2026 to 2029.

The Swiss parliament approved the Mörser 16 project with Armeebotschaft 2016, originally for 32 mortar systems, 12 trucks, ammunition, logistics materiel, and the modification of 16 available command vehicles, valued at CHF404 million. The Armasuisse spokesperson told Janes

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