posted on Apr, 4 2005 @ 11:39 PM
I say again, guys. This weapon does not function completely independently. It is a crew-served, breech-loading mortar. .A crew is still necessary to
haul it and load it. Once a target has been detected by a forward unit, its coordinates are passed to the fire control system electronically and a
fire order appears on the crew's screen. The crew then loads the type of rounds called for in the fire order. The gun slews to the coordinates called
for in the fire order and is fired by an electronic command from the controlling officer. Here is a briefing slideshow on the weapon:
Several new guided shells have been developed for the 120mm including anti-tank (top attack), HE, HE airburst, smoke, and illumination rounds. 120mm
shells weigh about 29 pounds (13.2 kg).
The 2 gun section this weapon will be assigned to will normally travel with an infantry company as it's direct fire support. The Company Commander
will be able to see the location of all units in his command using the BCBB system. He will issue orders to control traffic behind the Forward Edge of
the Battle Area (FEBA) so that the maximum number of his assets can fire against the maximum number of known targets.
If fired upon by counter-battery fire, this weapon is manned and would suffer casualties. The defense for this is to fire and move immediately, so the
counter-battery fire hits where you were, not where you are.
This mortar will normally will be mounted in an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), such as an M113 so bugging-out is possible. The USMC is experimenting
with mounting it in the new Light Armored Vehicle (LAV-M). The IFV will carry the crew and about 50-60 rounds and be attended by an ammo carrier
hauling another 100 or so. The towed version of this mortar would only be assigned to light infantry divisions.