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March 31, 2022

 

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 and XM1287 Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) Mortar Carriers 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, AMPV, and Stryker, 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, 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 20% less and the M224A1 weighs 13% less than their legacy counterparts, yet they maintain the same capability. All mortar systems fire a full family of ammunition, including high explosive (HE), infrared, visible light, smoke, and training.

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, 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. In June 2014, APMI was approved for Conditional Materiel Release to the Global Reaction Force.

BENEFIT TO THE SOLDIER

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

SPECIFICATIONS:

M120/M121 120 mm 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). HE Guided Mortar is in development.

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).

PROGRAM STATUS

Mortar Systems

  • FY18
    • M32A1 Software version 6.0 Materiel Release
    • Milestone (MS) C/Type Classification (TC)/Limited Production
    • Fielding of the 81 mm Lightweight Mortar (M252A1)
    • Continue Production and Fielding of mortar weapon systems and fire control systems
  • FY19
    • Initiated LHMBC M32A1 APB
    • Continue Production and Fielding of mortar weapon systems and fire control systems
  • FY20:
    • Fielding of the M32A1
    • Continue Production and Fielding of mortar weapon systems and fire control systems

Mortar Cartridges

  • FY19
    • Continue Production of 60/81/120 mm HE, FRP, and Smoke and Illumination mortars
    • Obtained TC-Standard (STD)/MS C for M821A4 program
    • Completed 60 mm M1061 Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar First Article Test
    • Completed 120 mm mortar Hexachloroethane Smoke Demonstration
  • FY20
    • Continue Production of 60/81/120 mm HE, FRP, and Smoke and Illumination mortars
    • Commence 60 mm M1061 Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar Production

PROJECTED ACTIVITIES

Mortar Systems

  • 4QFY22
    • M32A2 Software version 3.0 Materiel Release

Mortar Cartridges

  • FY21
    • Continue Production of 60/81/120 mm HE, FRP, and Smoke and Illumination mortars
    • Start 60 mm M1061 Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar deliveries
    • 81 mm M821A4 Achieve Full Materiel Release and Full Rate Production decision

Foreign Military Sales

Fielded with multiple countries

Contractors

60 mm, 81 mm, and 120 mm Baseplate Production, 120 mm Bipod Production, 81 mm, and 120 mm Cannon Production: Elbit Systems of America (Fort Worth, TX)

60 mm, 81 mm, and 120 mm Cannons: Watervliet Arsenal (Watervliet, NY)

60 mm and 81 mm Mortar Bipod Production: Connectec (Irvine, CA)

M32A1 LHMBC (RTHD-2): VT Miltope (Hope Hull, AL)

M32A2 (Nett Warrior): PM Ground Soldier (Fort Belvoir, VA)

MFCS-D and MFCS-M Production, Fielding, and Installation: Elbit Systems of America (Fort Worth, TX)

Mortar Cartridge Load, Assemble, Package: Day & Zimmerman (Parsons, KS), General Dynamics (QE, Canada), and Pine Bluff Arsenal (Pine Bluff, AR)

Mortar Fins: MaTech Industries (Salisbury, MD), Flexible Concepts (Elkhart, IN), and Gayston Corp (Springboro, OH)

Mortar Fuzes: L3 Fuzing and Ordnance Systems (Cincinnati, OH) and Nammo-Pocal (Scranton, PA)

Mortar Ignition Cartridge: Nammo-Pocal (Scranton, PA)

Mortar Propellant Charges: American Ordnance (Middletown, IA) and General Dynamics (Marion, IL)

Mortar Shell Bodies:  General Dynamics (Wilkes Barre, PA), Lewis Engineering Corp. (Sherman, TX)