The family of mortar systems provides fire support to the maneuver unit commander and is employed in all combat formations. The two mounted variants are the M121 120mm mortar used on the M1064A3 Mortar Carrier and soon-to-be-fielded Armored Multipurpose Vehicle Mortar Carrier (AMPV-MC), and the 120mm Recoiling Mortar System used on the M1129 and M1252 Stryker Mortar Carriers. The M120A1 120mm Towed Mortar System is the dismounted variant and is fielded as part of the M326 Mortar Stowage Kit (MSK), designed to easily emplace/displace the system. The Mortar Fire Control System (MFCS) is the digital fire control for 120mm mortars that provides the warfighter improvements in command and control of mortar fires, the speed of employment, accuracy and survivability of mortars. The M95/M96 MFCS – Mounted (MFCS-M) is used on the M1064A3, AMPV-MC, M1129, and M1252 mortar carriers; the M150/M151 MFCS-Dismounted (MFCS-D), is optimized for dismounted use and is integrated onto the M326 Mortar Stowage Kit. Both systems combine a fire control computer that handles navigation, digital messaging, and mission processing, an inertial navigation pointing system, and gunner’s and driver’s displays that allow crews to fire in less than a minute, greatly improving mortar lethality, 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 13 percent less and the M224A1 weighs 20 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 mortar cartridges.
The M32 and M32A1 Lightweight Handheld Mortar Ballistic Computers have a tactical modem and embedded Global Positioning System, allowing mortar crews to send and receive digital call-for-fire messages, calculate ballistic solutions for all mortar weapons and ammunition. 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.
BENEFIT TO THE SOLDIER
Mortar Systems provide the maneuver commander rapid, responsive, hip-pocket indirect fires in support of combat operations.
M120A1/M121 120mm Mortar:
- Maximum Range (meters): 7,240 (with standard fuze)
- Ammunition: War reserve HE (M934A1), White Phosphorus (WP) smoke (M929), visible light illumination (M930), infrared illumination (M983), war reserve and training (M933A1), and Full-Range Practice (FRP) (M931).
M252A1 81mm Mortar:
- Maximum Range (meters): 5,935
- Ammunition: War reserve HE (M821A3), red phosphorus smoke (M819), visible light illumination (M853A1), infrared illumination (M816), war reserve and training HE (M889A4), and FRP (M879A1).
M224A1 60mm Mortar:
- Maximum Range (meters): 3,489
- Ammunition: War reserve HE (M720A2/M1061), WP smoke (M722A1), visible light Illumination (M721), infrared illumination (M767), war reserve and training HE (M768A1), and FRP (M769).
- M120A1 – Production & Deployment
- M121 (M1064, AMPV-MC) – Production and Deployment
- M252A1 – Production & Deployment
- M224A1 – Production & Deployment
- M150/M151 – Production & Deployment
- M95/M96 – Production & Deployment
- M32 – Sustainment
- M32A1 – Production & Deployment
- FY19: Fielding of M32A1
- FY20: Fielding of the 81mm Lightweight Mortar (M252A1)
- FY20: Full Materiel Release for the 81mm HE M821A4
- FY20-21: Evaluate modular turreted 120mm mortar systems for potential integration onto US platforms
- FY20-21: Evaluate dismounted extended range mortar systems for potential integration onto US platforms
- FY20-21: Evaluate lightweight pointing technologies and enhanced communication interfaces for modernized mortar fire control systems