M120 Mortar

Soltam K6 mortar

Type Mortar
Place of origin  Israel
Service history
Used by see below
Specifications
Weight 144.7 kg (319 lb)
Crew 5

Caliber 120 millimetres (4.7 in)
Rate of fire 16 RPM max, 4 RPM sustained
Effective range 7,240 metres (7,920 yd)
Feed system manual

The Soltam K6 is a 120 mm mortar that was developed by Soltam Systems of Israel. It is the long-range version of the Soltam K5 and has replaced older systems such as the 107-millimetre (4.2 in) M30 in several armies including the United States Army. It is much lighter than the M30, has a greater range, and can sustain a rate of fire of four rounds per minute while the M30 could sustain only three.

Design overview

The K6 fires fin-stabilized ammunition from a smoothbore. Unlike its smaller ammunition cousins, the 81 mm and 60 mm mortars, the fin blades of the ammunition fired from the M120 are not canted. Thus, no spin is imparted to the projectile in flight. Although heavy mortars require trucks or tracked mortar carriers to move them, they are still much lighter than field artillery pieces. They outrange light and medium mortars, and their explosive power is much greater. An improved version is known as K6A3.

Deployment

The K6 entered service with the United States Army in 1991 as the M120 Mortar System. Its mission is to provide heavy weapon, high-angle organic indirect fire support to the unit commander. The M120 is used by both mechanized units and light infantry in certain situations. Another feature of the M120 is the M303 Sub-Caliber insert, which allows the mortar to fire 81 mm ammunition.

The M120 is transported on the M1100 Trailer by the M998 Humvee. The version that is mounted on the M1064 and M1129 mortar carriers is known as the M121.

In 2007, the U.S. Army ordered 588 M326 MSS (Mortar Stowage Systems) from BAE Systems. Here, the assembled mortar is mounted on a truck, Humvee or M1101 trailer and can be mounted and dismounted in less than 20 seconds.[1]

Specifications

Maximum range: 7,240 metres (23,750 ft)
Minimum range: 200 metres (660 ft)
Weight: 144.7 kilograms (319 lb) without ammunition
326.1 kilograms (719 lb) when mounted on trailer
Rate of fire: 16 rounds/min first minute, 4 rounds/min sustained
Crew: 5

The M120 mortar system consists of the following major components:

  • M298 cannon assembly (110 pounds or 50 kilograms)
  • M190 bipod assembly (70 pounds or 32 kilograms)
  • M9 baseplate (136 pounds or 62 kilograms)
  • M1100 trailer (399 pounds or 181 kilograms)
  • M67 sight unit (2.5 pounds or 1.1 kilograms)

The M120 is capable of firing the following munitions:

  • XM395 precision guided munition
  • M929 smoke cartridge[2]
  • XM930 illumination round
    • XM930E1 illumination round
  • XM931 practice round
  • M933 high explosive round
  • M934 high explosive round
    • M934A1 high explosive round
  • XM983 illumination round

Users

See also

References

External links

  • Pocket artillery
  • M120 120mm Mortar
  • M120 Field Manual
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