Mortar Systems


The 60 mm M224 Lightweight Company Mortar serves in light infantry formations, including the Army's 75th Ranger Regiment. With a maximum range of approximately 3,500 meters, the M224 provides indirect fire support across the entire company front and at sufficient range to engage targets out to the limit of the company zone of influence.

Tactical ammunition options include a high-explosive/multiOption fuze, high-explosive-point detonating, white phosphorous/smoke and illumination. The smoothbore system can bo gravity-fired or fired by using a manual spring-loaded firing system. It uses the M64A1 (replacing the M64) sight, which is self-illuminated for night operations.

Procurement of this system began in FY 1978 with more than 2,000 units fielded to the Army and Marine Corps.

The 81 mm M252 Mortar is the Army's designation for the Royal Ordnance L16A2 system, originally referred to as the 1-81 (improved). The M252 has a maximum range in excess of 5,935 meters, making it capable of indirect fire support across the entire battalion front at sufficient range to engage targets out to the battalion's zone of influence.

With a sustained firing rate of 15 rounds per minute, the M252 can fire a variety of NATO-standard ammunition, including high-explosive, red phosphorous/smoke and illumination.

The M821A2 was type classified with the M734A1 fuze to improve the safety, performance and producibility of the cartridge. The use of an HF-I steel body on the M889A1, M821A1 and M821A2 cartridges significantly improves the lethality over previous generations of 81 mm cartridges.

The 120 mm (M120/M121) Mortar System provides an organic indirect fire-support capability to the maneuver unit commander. It is a conventional smoothbore, muzzle-loaded mortar system that provides increased range, lethality and safety compared to the World War Π-vintage 4.2inch heavy mortar system it replaces in mechanized infantry, motorized, armored and cavalry units. With a maximum range of 7,240 meters, the system is used in both towed (M120) and carrier-mounted (M121) versions and fires a family of enhanced ammunition that is produced in the United States.

Initial fieldings of the towed version began in September 1991 at Fort Lewis, Wash., followed by fielding of the M1064 carrier-mounted system. The subsequent upgrade of force package I and II carriers to M1064A3 configuration has been completed.

A complete Family of 120 mm Enhanced Mortar Ammunition is being produced by several government and commercial sources. The M933/934 high-explosive round received full materiel release and is in production. The M929 white phosphorus/smoke received full materiel release in the second quarter of 1999 and is also in production. The M929 incorporates the M734A1 multioption fuze, which significantly improves performance, lethality, reliability and electronic countermeasure protection.

The M734A1 fuze is being incorporated into the improved 120 mm M934A1 highexplosive (HE) round. This round was released in the fourth quarter of 2000 and has 50 percent more lethality than its predecessor.

FY 2003 program projections call for development and qualification of an insensitive munition solution for the M934A1 HE round, which is designated M934A1E1.

The 120 mm M931 full-range training round received full materiel release during the second quarter of 1999 and is in production.

The new 120 mm white (visible) light (M930) and infrared (M983) illumination rounds are in limited production. …

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