Author Topic: Mortars: 51 mm, 60 mm, 81 mm, 120 mm & more  (Read 395041 times)

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Meditations in Green

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Mortars: 51 mm, 60 mm, 81 mm, 120 mm & more
« on: November 22, 2001, 14:08:00 »
Has anyone taken a look at the Patria Advanced Mortar System (AMOS)? It has twin turret mounted 120mm mortars mounted on a chassis that looks very similar to a LAV chassis.

 http://www.army-technology.com/contractors/artillery/patria/index.html
« Last Edit: May 07, 2017, 01:03:33 by kratz »

Offline Gordon Angus Mackinlay

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2001, 19:59:00 »
Sir,
This system was looked at here in Australia when we were still involved in the stupidty of the Army 21 concept.

It was an expensive, complex piece of equipment, which if mounted on the lAV II chassis would have resulted in a extremely overweight vehicle, with no off road ability.

It has no real advantage over the standard 18/120mm vehicle mounted systems.

There is a number of similar systems, all with similar problems.  Whilst I know no details it is said that the kinetic energy displaced when both barrels fired similtanously will result in damage to the carrying vehicle chassis, over a period of time.

Yours,
Jock in Sydney
Jock

Meditations in Green

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2001, 13:39:00 »
That makes sense to me.  I was wondering if it actually worked out well, or if it merely looks interesting. What do you think would be a better approach?

Brock

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2001, 19:52:00 »
It is interesting to here from an Australian.  I am actually very impressed with the Australian military.  The Australian Government seems to have a much better understanding of what a multipurpose combat force is to look like.  The new Astralian Defence white paper called for 20 new 120mm amoured mortar systems built by Delco Defense.  They appear to be a good close self-propelled fire support system. They do not have problem being utilized in the LAV II.  The system is fully tested and developed.  It has a range of close to 10km and is excellent for use in urban and open/closed terrain due to the inherent advantages of mortar fire.  A turreted mortar system also reduces potential injury due to enemy fire.  This looks to be a better set up than the Patria mount, which seems to be overkill.

Offline Gordon Angus Mackinlay

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2001, 03:30:00 »
Sir,

The purchase of the 20 120mm mortar systems was thankfully stopped, it was part of the ludercious Army 21 concept that has now gone by the board.

Apart from the change in the military concept (it was intended by our then Labor Government that all military actions should be reactive and NOT proactive), the system was just too expensive, the weapons, their spare parts, and the ammunition would all be purchased from overseas, with nothing being contributed to the Australian economy.

Really for mechanised/motorised formations a 120mm system is a overkill, if you have self propelled artillery.  For support of the infantry battalion in all its forms, the L16 81mm tube is still ideal.  And we make the ammunition and spare parts in country.

Yours,
Jock in Sydney
Jock

Brock

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2001, 17:56:00 »
Mr. Mackinlay:

I am not so sure that I am wrong about the Australian Army‘s acquisition of the 120mm Armoured Mortar System from Delco Defense not Patria‘s AMOS.  Jane‘s Defence Weekly reported shortly after the release of Australia‘s 2000 Defence White Paper that contract negotiations were taking place.  Also I think that the 120mm AMS is for your ASLAV cavalry units and not an infantry support weapon.  Thus the need for more artillery support.  Please respond, maybe you have some inside information that I can not find.

Offline Gordon Angus Mackinlay

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2001, 02:35:00 »
Sir,

I have the latest Defence Report (2001-2002) in front of me at the moment, just received today.  A 120mm mortar system is not on our list of requirements.

Besides we are broke, what with the UN owing Australia some 4.9 billion US Dollars for East Timor as of the end of the last financial year (30 Jun 2001), and is not paying any of it‘s bill‘s in Australia since.  Add to it the illegal refugee invasion, and our financial committement to the Americans under ANZUS for their playing at cowboys in Afghanistan!!!!!

I umpired on Exercise Tamdem Thrust  in May of this year in central Queensland, part of the with 2nd Cav Regt (the rest unfortunately with the USMC).  The subject of fire support brought up, the regt wants the L16 system.  The new ammunition take the range up to 6800 metres for the HE round (if the Merlin round is purchased it has a range of 6400), an efficient, rapid response weapon that is easy to use and maintain.

The purchase of a 120mm system is not in our interest, due to its small numbers would have to be purchased from overseas (as would all spare parts), the ammunition being the same, it would require substantial modification of our version of the Bison, plus the number of bombs required is limited and would require extra Bisons for ammo carriage.  We have better and more things to spend our money on.

Besides tactically if a light armoured regiment (whose role is recce) gets involved in fighting which requires such heavy fire support, it‘s not doing it‘s job.

Yours,
Jock in Sydney
Jock

Offline Gordon Angus Mackinlay

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2002, 11:56:00 »
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Whilst at dinner tonight we were talking about how the NATO Allied Mobile Force (Land) has been recently been disbanded.

The conversation veered upon the 1960‘s and how only the British, German and Italian armies actually provided their infantry battalions with artillery support (L5 105mm Pack Howitzers in each case).  Of the other three battalions, only the Canadian one had close support.  This being provided by a battery from 4 RCHA equipped with M107 4.2inch mortars.

The question being, was this battery solely equipped with the 4.2inch mortar, or was this a secondary weapon to their normal field piece (be it M101 or M114)????

Yours,
Jock in Sydney
Jock

Offline Gordon Angus Mackinlay

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2003, 03:19:00 »
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I must apologise for not placing a response to my own question so long ago, but, my time is finite and other demands are made upon it.

When Canada, as one of the original signatories to the Allied Mobile Force Agreement in 1961, some major thinking had to occur at NDHQ.  The 12 inf bns of the regular army were at that time all motorised (apart from the rifle coys that existed in three battalions as the Defence of Canada Force), and apart from Ferret scout cars in the RCAC none of the support equipment was airportable.   The direct supporting batteries of the RCHA were equipped with the C1 105mm howitzer, which by no stretch of the imagination was a light, easily portable weapon.

In order to give the inf bn allocatted to AMF fire support it was decided to have one battery in the airportable support role, this being L Battery.   The battery being equipped with the M107 4.2inch mortar, having 12 baseplates.  It also still held the normal complement of 8 C1‘s.

The infantry battalion rotated through the role in each of the three Canadian based infantry brigades.  This having it‘s 4.2inch mortar platoon lose it‘s weapons, and having the 81mm mortars of each coy support platoon coming under command (giving it 8 81mm mortars) (the 106mm anti-tank guns of the coys went to the bn level anti-tank platoon giving it 12 weapons).

Until the major changes of 1970, the battalions constantly redeveloped their organisation for the AMF role.

1968 saw the purchase of 12 L5 105mm Pack Howitzers from the Italian company OTO, to replace the 4.2inch mortars.  These however went straight off to equip the Airborne Field Battery.

The field Battery which was the ACE support battery (have not found out when L Battery reliquished the role) ended up using the stripped down version of the C1.

If any more information could be given would be most grateful.

Yours,
Jock in SYdney
Jock

Offline Bruce Monkhouse

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2003, 09:00:00 »
When I joined D Bty, 2RCHA in 1978 we were the ACE Mobile Force battery and we still had L-5‘s then. For   some unknown reason,[alcohol?], I can‘t remember when we switched to C-1‘s but it was before 1986. I hope this can help in some way.  CHEERS
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Offline Gordon Angus Mackinlay

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2003, 08:13:00 »
Thanks for that Mr Monkhouse.

When the L5 were bought for the Airborne Battery, it was established for eight guns.  Since 12 guns were bought this proportionately links with a training pool and a maintenance pool of weapons - one or two guns in the School, one with the RCEME Centre, one or two in the reserve pool.

With the Airborne Battery reduced to six guns with the CAF formation (as with all batteries), then the AMF battery acquiring six guns, it leaves no training, reserve pool - SO was there additional weapons acquired?

In 1968 there was a British Army training pool of weapons which were held at Gagetown.including L5‘s.  Is it possible that such were transferred to CAF stocks???


Yours.
Jock in Sydney
Jock

Offline Bruce Monkhouse

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2003, 17:00:00 »
That I could‘nt say but I know that we had no extra L-5‘s around. When a gun went down you became a 5-gun Bty. On the upside you could actually have a full gun crew for a change. CHEERS
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Offline muskrat89

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2003, 22:10:00 »
For what it‘s worth - there was always one (maybe 2?) L5 at the School‘s gun park in Gagetown. Well, that was between 83-96, at the K Lines...
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Offline Gordon Angus Mackinlay

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2003, 01:07:00 »
Thanks,

It does not seem logical that there were only 12 L5‘s - equipping two batteries.  What about the armourer in training, did they have to go to the batteries to learn about depot level maintenance, whilst the school would have had to have at least one gun for the officer courses to train on?

Yours,
G/.
Jock

Offline J. Shortt

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2003, 12:33:00 »
HMMM Interesting Jock,  But I am fairly sure that only pers posted to 2 Horse actually did the conversion trg.  Somewhere between 86-87 F Bty was formed with 4 L5‘s.  E Bty (Para) remained with 6 L5‘s.  In 1993 The 2nd Regt went Mech with the M 109 A4.  F Bty took one D Btys 105mm C1‘s X 6.  The L5‘s were put into preservation and were eventually taken out of Canadian service all together.  The Regt still has some for Gun Racing but they are and never will be able to fire (Live) ammo due to some gun race mods made.
J. Shortt

Offline Gordon Angus Mackinlay

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2003, 04:07:00 »
Thankyou for that.

WIth the two L5 batteries concentrated at Gagetown, this makes sense in regard to school level training.

Also the reduction in the AMF battery to four guns would allow a sensible depot level maintenance, by having two guns in reserve.

Yours,
Jock in Sydney
Jock

Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2003, 23:01:00 »
Quote
Now if you argue that the arty will try make the mortar a more complex wpn system than it has to be, I might agree with you. (Gunner, in Infantry/Mortars topic)
This may well be the most serious shortfall of the artillery approach to adopting mortars. The Artillery Corps will simply approach the problem as one more indirect fire system, for which they don‘t need to change any other aspect of the fire control system, training or manning. Traditionally, one of the greatest strengths of mortars in experienced "mortar" hands as been its immediacy of response based on relatively simplistic systems of navigation/orienation by map and Mark I eyeball, coupled with the inherent knowledge that the high trajectory and time of flight defeats most available algorithms for electronic met corrections. (Frankly, the HP 41-C Mortar Fire Data Calculator was a failure for most functions beyond what the manual plotter could achieve, both in effectiveness and speed.)

The basic Artillery approach to consider mortars as simply a different weapon to calculate data for, using the same computational systems as for guns, will be a limitation, not a strength. In short, shooting mortars well (in a combat support sense) compared to Artillery gunnery is like shooting a sub-machinegun by instinctive firing compared to shooting a service rifle at Connaught ranges. The approaches that make mortars most effective run against the grain of good artillery gunnery.

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Offline J. Shortt

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2003, 23:38:00 »
I would have to agree that the computer systems available are no more accutate than the plotter.  However I would say that the 81mm mortar is not a very consistant wpn.  It is accutate at times but not consistant. In ballistics there is a definate diffrence between consistansy and accuracy.
J. Shortt

Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2003, 23:52:00 »
You‘re right, there is a difference between consistency and accuracy. Keep in mind the relative elevations and times of flight of artillery compared to mortar rounds. The long flight time of mortar rounds and the numbers of ballistic elevation meteorological atmospheric layers they penetrate create incredible variances on fall of shot compared to artillery guns. I have fired current mortar ammunitions in stable met conditions that were accurate enough to have surprisingly small probable errors (PEs), both for range and elevation. At the time, I considered this almost a limitation, mortars (both medium (81 mm) and light (61 mm)) are area suppresion weapons, most effective against light targets and troops in the open. For best effect, good dispersion is required, not simply desired.

 
Quote
…, and the medium mortar, one of the [Second World] war‘s major casualty-producers, gave the infantryman the ability to reach out to the other side of the hill. - Keegan/Holmes; SOLDIERS: A History of Men in Battle

Offline Ralph

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2003, 19:27:00 »
Sorry for the new flame-like subject title, but nobody answered my original (lame) query:
How has the takeover of the mortars affected artillery so far? Are the recruits learning mortar drill during their MOC course, or are all the tubes sitting in a back room somewhere? Are batteries being tasked with specific mortar capability?
Cheers,
Ralph.

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2003, 02:54:00 »
I will need confirmation from one of the gunners, but last bit of RumorInt I got was that Mortors were being handed back to the battalions.  Can anyone confirm this?
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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2003, 11:39:00 »
For the record, the Artillery has never stolen the mortars from the infantry...A mortar is an indirect fire weapon which is essentially what the Artillery is.Currently in the RCHA the mortars are distributed amongst the LG1 howitzer detatchments and a quick conversion course is all thats required to qualify serving gunners.Since the principles of indirect fire is our bread and butter, a five week course on the mortar can be turned into 3 days of familliarization.

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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2003, 15:02:00 »
Yeah, he knew that.  He just didn‘t get any replies to his first message, so he wrote something guaranteed to stir up a response.

Nothing against your abilities to handle a mortar...just that it was the only piece of "heavy artillery" actually in the trenches with the boys on the sharp end.  Makes for instantaneous support, and more control over targeting when HQ has other priorities for the Arty...  :cool:
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Re: MORTARS-4 Years[and counting] of Mortar Thoughts
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2003, 19:11:00 »
Ref: RCHA sealing the Mortars. We are training with them on a regular basis and have developed methods and drills that are in line with the way we use Arty. As to the question of Command and Control they remain under the I9ers. This means that we have had to meet the Inf BTS up to Platoon level.

Offline Michael O'Leary

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Mortars
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2003, 23:22:00 »
There are two issues that led to (supported, if you will) the decision to remove the mortars from the infantry battalions.

The first is that for a number of operational tours, shortfalls in available infantry soldiers resulted in the artillery providing personnel to fill the mortar platoons. This also had the effect of balancing the operational tasking load to a corps with less than average participation among the combat arms, a situation that could potentially have led to questioning their numbers if they weren‘t "pulling their weight" in the current operational environment.

Secondly, the argument was put forth in NDHQ that there was a degree of redundancy of indirect fire support capability with both mortar platoons and close support artillery.

These arguments led to the removal of mortars from the Regular Force battalions. As far as I know, there was no supporting study to examine the roles and values of the mortars in the existing battalion and brigade organizations, or an analysis of historic example and employment against current operational intentions to verify or refute the validity of maintaining the weapon system.

The fate of the weapon systems at this time is to transfer them to operational stocks once the orders to do so are promulgated. The artillery‘s plan is to pull them out annually for refresher training but not to man them continuously in the Regular regiments. I guess the associated SAT equipment for mortars will also be summarily retired.

There has been no discussions that I know of to consider any of the Reserve Artillery regiments to take over mortars.

Sadly, one of the hidden casualties of this system is the one long-standing success story for support weapons in the Reserves. The Princess Louise Fusiliers (PLF) in Halifax has had a mortar group for over 25 years, including maintaining Reserve Advanced Qualified mortarmen throughout this period. It is only with the recent decisions to remove mortars from the infantry that the PLF have ceased pursuing their own mortar program. (This unit has produced a number of soldiers who transferred to Regular service as NCMs and as officers with these skills, including three members that went on to become RCR mortar platoon commanders, one even becoming the Subject Matter Expert (Mortars ) at the Infantry School.)

Mortars are the one support platoon task that can easily be maintained on the Armoury floor by a committed unit (infantry or artillery). With a 20-day basic qualification course, very portable weapon systems and available simulator training systems, skills can easily be maintained in an Armoury to support twice annual live firing exercises.

For now, however, for all the infantry mortarmen, its:

"END OF MISSION"

Michael O‘Leary