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.