DESCRIPTION

The family of mortar systems provides organic, indirect fire support to the maneuver unit commander and is employed in all combat formations. The Army uses three variants of 120 mm mortar systems. The two mounted variants are the M121 120 mm mortar, used on the M1064A3 Mortar Carrier, and the 120 mm Recoiling Mortar System, used on the M1129 and M1252 Stryker Mortar Carriers. The M120A1 120 mm Towed Mortar System is the dismounted variant. The Mortar Fire Control System (MFCS) provides the warfighter improvements in command and control of mortar fires and the speed of employment, accuracy and survivability of mortars. The M95/M96 MFCS – Mounted (MFCS-M), used on the M1064A3, M1129 and M1252, and the M150/M151 MFCS – Dismounted (MFCS-D), used with the M120A1, combine a fire control computer with an inertial navigation and pointing system, allowing crews to fire in less than a minute and greatly improving mortar lethality and accuracy, and crew survivability. The Lightweight M252A1 81 mm Mortar System and Lightweight M224A1 60 mm Mortar System have been qualified and are in production and fielding. The M252A1 weighs 20 percent less and the M224A1 weighs 13 percent less than their legacy counterparts, yet maintain the same capability. All of the mortar systems fire a full family of ammunition including high-explosive, infrared and visible light illumination, smoke, and training.

The M32 and M32A1 Lightweight Handheld Mortar Ballistic Computers (LHMBC) have a tactical modem and embedded Global Positioning System, allowing mortar crews to send and receive digital call-for-fire messages, calculate ballistic solutions and navigate. The next-generation Android-based M32A2 is under development.

The XM395 Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative (APMI) achieved an Urgent Materiel Release in March 2011. APMI has been deployed and used in combat since June 2011. Based on the success of the APMI program, the Army is moving forward with the High Explosive Guided Mortar (HEGM) and in February 2015 validated the Capability Development Document.

BENEFIT TO THE WARFIGHTER

Mortar Systems provide the maneuver commander rapid, responsive, hip-pocket indirect fires in support of combat operations.

SPECIFICATIONS

M120/M121 120 mm:

  • Range (meters): 7240
  • Weight (pounds): 319
  • Rate of Fire (rounds per minute): 16 for the first minute, 4 sustained
  • Crew: 4 M121 carrier-mounted; 5 M120 towed
  • Ammunition: High-explosive (HE) (M934A1), white phosphorus (WP) smoke (M929), illumination (visible light, M930 and infrared [IR], M983), M933A1 (operational training), and full-range practice (FRP) (M931)

M252 81 mm:

  • Range (meters): 5,935
  • Weight (pounds): 90
  • Rate of Fire (rounds per minute): 30 for the first two minutes, 15 sustained
  • Crew: 3
  • Ammunition: HE (M821A2), red phosphorus smoke (M819), illumination (visible light, M853A1 and IR, M816), M889A2 (operational training), and FRP (M879)

M224 60 mm:

  • Range (meters): 3,489
  • Weight (pounds): 46.5 (conventional), 18.0 (handheld
  • Rate of Fire (rounds per minute): 30 for the first four minutes, 20 sustained
  • Crew: 3
  • Ammunition: HE (M720A1), WP smoke (M722A1), illumination (visible light, M721 and IR, M767), M768 (operational training), and FRP (M769)

PROGRAM STATUS

  • 1QFY13-4QFY15: 1,540 Mortar Weapon Systems (Lightweight 60 mm, 81 mm, 120 mm) fielded to numerous Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT), Heavy Brigade Combat Teams, Stryker Brigade Combat Teams and Special Forces groups; 295 M150/M151 Mortar Fire Control Systems and 268 Mortar Stowage Kits (MSK) fielded to 15 IBCT, 14 Infantry Battalions, and the Ranger Regiment; continued production of MFCS-D
  • 3QFY13: M32 Software Version 4.1 Materiel Release (MR) (Common Operating Environment Version 1.0); TC-STD 60 mm HE Mortar M1061 Enhanced Fragmentation Cartridge
  • 3QFY13-4QFY15: 228 LHMBC fielded to 4 IBCT, 1 Special Forces Group and 10 IBCT Battalions
  • 1QFY15: Completed production of the M120A1 MSK
  • 1QFY16: M32 Software Version 5.0 MR for M32A1 variant

PROJECTED ACTIVITIES

  • 1QFY16-4QFY16: Continue fielding of the 60 mm Lightweight Mortar (M224A1) and product improvements
  • 1QFY16-4QFY17: Continue fielding of the 81 mm Lightweight Mortar (M252A1) and product improvements; continue production and fielding of MFCS-D and product improvements
  • 2QFY16: Begin production of M32A1; Materiel Development Decision on HEGM
  • 2QFY16-4QFY17: Software integration for Android-based M32A2
  • 3QFY16: Selection of new Mortar Weapon Systems, Mortar Weapon Components and Mortar Fire Control System prime contractors; conduct 60 mm M1061 mortar Full Materiel Release
  • 1QFY17-4QFY17: Begin fielding M32A1
  • 2QFY17: Achieve Milestone B and begin HEGM Engineering & Manufacturing Development

FOREIGN MILITARY SALES

Fielded with multiple countries—names for official use only and not for public disclosure

CONTRACTORS

  • 60 mm and 81 mm mortar bipod production: MaTech (Salisbury, MD)
  • 60 mm and 81 mm baseplate production: AMT (Fairfield, NJ)
  • MFCS-D and MFCS-M production, fielding and installation: Elbit Systems of America (Fort Worth, TX)
  • M32A1 LHMBC (RTHD-2): VT Miltope (Hope Hull, AL)
  • M32A2 (Nett Warrior): PM Ground Soldier (Ft. Belvoir, VA)
  • 120 mm, 81 mm, and 60 mm cannons: Watervliet Arsenal (Watervliet, NY)
  • Mortar ignition cartridge: POCAL Industries, Inc. (Scranton, PA)
  • Mortar cartridge load, assemble, package: Pine Bluff Arsenal (Pine Bluff, AR)
  • Mortar fuses: L3 Fuzing and Ordnance Systems (Cincinnati, OH)

PEO

PEO-AMMO