Mortars as individual weapons?

Looks like we're headed that way with a man portable, 10 pound 60mm mortar.  This video was posted on another website who mentioned it had been adopted by a Polish Special forces unit:

     

 

 


 

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JOINED: 01/02/03   LOCATION: South Florida, USA

Original Post

Hmm, interesting.  Although I expected it to be a video of some SF guy beating the bejesus out of some ISIS fuck with a mortar tube...

"These are the rules. Everybody fights, nobody quits. If you don't do your job I'll kill you myself."

 

Joined: 04/01/2004     Location:  Twin Cities, MN

So they are basically taking the light weight trigger fired mortar (US M224A1) and making it even lighter using light weight materials.  Cool.  what is the weight of the rounds, I didn't see that in the video.  Will it fire the 60mm rounds already in the US system?   it looks like it could be very useful for SOF and light units.

Apparently Amorworks showed it at SOFIC in 2015 and they claimed that a thermobaric round is available. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eIgVNGiZVI  

___________________________________________________________________

I'm either dead right, or horribly wrong. Either way the results should be entertaining.

 

"Shoot the MOTHERF$%^ER until he changes shape or catches fire"  the PAT ROGERS

Pretty interesting. This would be a huge advantage at a squad or platoon level. Having organic mortars rather than coordinating with a separate mortar section every time.

I'm pretty interested in the manual fire option. There's a trigger on the handle that allows the operator to fire it without dropping the round down the tube.

SEMPER FIDELIS

These have existed before. I remember reading about 1 man 50mm mortars in Janes.....in the early 90s.

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Teufelhund3066 posted:

 

I'm pretty interested in the manual fire option. There's a trigger on the handle that allows the operator to fire it without dropping the round down the tube.

Don't our current 60mm's have that?

 

 

 

 

Joined:      14 January 2010                Location:  MAINE

LobsterClaw207 posted:
Teufelhund3066 posted:

 

I'm pretty interested in the manual fire option. There's a trigger on the handle that allows the operator to fire it without dropping the round down the tube.

Don't our current 60mm's have that?

Yup.  But oh man, where to begin...

Single-manned mortars fired off of the small baseplate are cool and all, but using something with just over 1,000m range is giving up a lot of capability in the trade-off for lower weight.  Good for some applications, but I'd much rather have a single three-man team attached to a platoon, with an M224.  Better rate of fire, more ammo, etc.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

LobsterClaw207 posted:
Teufelhund3066 posted:

 

I'm pretty interested in the manual fire option. There's a trigger on the handle that allows the operator to fire it without dropping the round down the tube.

Don't our current 60mm's have that?

ah, I was not aware. I let all the 0341s have the tube-stroking fun. I just got to ask them on the radio to blow shit up

I think a system like this could still have some merit at the squad/platoon level. Similar to having a SMAW or AT-4 at the squad level, rather than always having an assault section attached.

SEMPER FIDELIS

Seems like it would be a good force multiplier for initial assaults, SOF, advance teams, and so forth.  Obvious advantage is lighter weight and one man pack, but I also think the speed of deployment would be a big advantage.  Imagine laying accurate indirect fire on a 500m target as the helocopter is lifting off after the insertion.  That would be very fast and help helo survivability, IMO.

Agreed that 1000m is a big trade off at 1/3 the range of a crew served 60mm, but the speed of deployment, portability, and potential for multiple tubes at the same overall weight could really improve the mobility and firepower of smaller elements in many situations.

"It's when you fuck up that you will hear from your peers, not when you are doing your job. We expect people to do their jobs, and don't praise them like six year olds who successfully tied their shoes when they do. " - Fatty

 

If in doubt about the tone of my post, please refer to avatar.

TNYankee posted:

Seems like it would be a good force multiplier for initial assaults, SOF, advance teams, and so forth.  Obvious advantage is lighter weight and one man pack, but I also think the speed of deployment would be a big advantage.  Imagine laying accurate indirect fire on a 500m target as the helocopter is lifting off after the insertion.  That would be very fast and help helo survivability, IMO.

Agreed that 1000m is a big trade off at 1/3 the range of a crew served 60mm, but the speed of deployment, portability, and potential for multiple tubes at the same overall weight could really improve the mobility and firepower of smaller elements in many situations.

How much ammunition would have to be ported to be effectively employed?

 We used to deploy our sixties like that years ago ;in a light role.When the Bns lost their mor platoons we started using the sixties with baseplate and bipod.  guys will never fire enough rounds to get accurate  trigger firing.A little trick we used was knotted string taped to the muzzle to swag elevation. and I didn't see if that tube  had a sight line painted on it .

Eat til you are tired sleep til you are hungry

TNYankee posted:

Seems like it would be a good force multiplier for initial assaults, SOF, advance teams, and so forth.  Obvious advantage is lighter weight and one man pack, but I also think the speed of deployment would be a big advantage.  Imagine laying accurate indirect fire on a 500m target as the helocopter is lifting off after the insertion.  That would be very fast and help helo survivability, IMO.

Unless you hit the helicopter with a mortar round accidentally.  Some of my IA counterparts scared one of our pilots by shooting their mortar as the chopper was coming in for a landing at our COP.

___________________________________________________________________

I'm either dead right, or horribly wrong. Either way the results should be entertaining.

 

"Shoot the MOTHERF$%^ER until he changes shape or catches fire"  the PAT ROGERS

No perfect answers, only options and choices, tradeoffs and sacrifices.  Just saying that if choosing between no mortar due to weight and three-man team size, or having one of these with 12-15 rounds distributed, among the element, I'll consider one of these, mission dependent.

Of course, they are not an option for me now, and my grunt life was a looong time ago.  When we were prepping for air assault into Haiti, one of our mission was to take down the airport.  Indirect fire was a challenge due to the weight, team size, time to deploy, etc.  I could see these being a good solution for that application, and better than 40mm.

"It's when you fuck up that you will hear from your peers, not when you are doing your job. We expect people to do their jobs, and don't praise them like six year olds who successfully tied their shoes when they do. " - Fatty

 

If in doubt about the tone of my post, please refer to avatar.

firemission4mortars posted:

 We used to deploy our sixties like that years ago ;in a light role.When the Bns lost their mor platoons we started using the sixties with baseplate and bipod.  guys will never fire enough rounds to get accurate  trigger firing.A little trick we used was knotted string taped to the muzzle to swag elevation. and I didn't see if that tube  had a sight line painted on it .

Yours didn't have the bubble sight on the trigger/handgrip mechanism?

As for ammunition required for effective employment, you could swag 3 rounds to get suppressive effects on a point target and maybe two at the most for an area target.  So at the top side, 3x rds (say, M888 or M720 at 3.75  lbs if using current M224s) per tgt =  11.25 lbs.  Do the math per engagement and the weight gets up there fast.

If the element is small, it needs access to a vehicle to stow it all.  Remember this video?

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

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TNYankee posted:

No perfect answers, only options and choices, tradeoffs and sacrifices.  Just saying that if choosing between no mortar due to weight and three-man team size, or having one of these with 12-15 rounds distributed, among the element, I'll consider one of these, mission dependent.

Of course, they are not an option for me now, and my grunt life was a looong time ago.  When we were prepping for air assault into Haiti, one of our mission was to take down the airport.  Indirect fire was a challenge due to the weight, team size, time to deploy, etc.  I could see these being a good solution for that application, and better than 40mm.

I agree, another tool in the box.  But,  We do have to consider the integration of the system into the scheme of maneuver.  IIRC in Iraq we were clearing our own 60MM handheld fires because the max ordinate was so low.  I suspect that would be the case here, but I would defer to one of our LF Fires guys or mortarmen.   

___________________________________________________________________

I'm either dead right, or horribly wrong. Either way the results should be entertaining.

 

"Shoot the MOTHERF$%^ER until he changes shape or catches fire"  the PAT ROGERS

My British Army Infantry days were back in the late 70s and we still had the 51mm. Never used it in anger but the  battle  template, as far as I remember, was that each man in the section would carry two rounds.

The 60mm mortar was a temp measure for use in Afghanistan and I believe, except for rapid deployment units (Para, RM) have been put into storage. Reg Brit infantry now have all their mortar eggs in the 81mm basket.

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Joined: 2003          Location: At home pretending to be retired (again).

cd228 posted:
TNYankee posted:

No perfect answers, only options and choices, tradeoffs and sacrifices.  Just saying that if choosing between no mortar due to weight and three-man team size, or having one of these with 12-15 rounds distributed, among the element, I'll consider one of these, mission dependent.

Of course, they are not an option for me now, and my grunt life was a looong time ago.  When we were prepping for air assault into Haiti, one of our mission was to take down the airport.  Indirect fire was a challenge due to the weight, team size, time to deploy, etc.  I could see these being a good solution for that application, and better than 40mm.

I agree, another tool in the box.  But,  We do have to consider the integration of the system into the scheme of maneuver.  IIRC in Iraq we were clearing our own 60MM handheld fires because the max ordinate was so low.  I suspect that would be the case here, but I would defer to one of our LF Fires guys or mortarmen.   

I would hope company commanders (and whomever owns a 60mm system below that) could still clear their own fires.

When I was in LAR, company commanders could clear their organic 81s in both IRQ and AFG.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

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jfirebalrog posted:

https://youtu.be/0eIgVNGiZVI

IIRC the rounds are about half the weight of the standard 60mm.

The Brits may have went with the Hirtenberger Commando mortar, think it ran around 12-13lbs and had similar lightweight rounds available, but a bit more versatile.

https://youtu.be/SJ3YVuyYkao

https://youtu.be/pFndoKYV3dA

 

The more I see in the video, I'm really digging that little guy.

I still wouldn't try firing it direct fire mode off a vehicle tire. 

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

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firemission4mortars posted:

 We used to deploy our sixties like that years ago ;in a light role.When the Bns lost their mor platoons we started using the sixties with baseplate and bipod.  guys will never fire enough rounds to get accurate  trigger firing.A little trick we used was knotted string taped to the muzzle to swag elevation. and I didn't see if that tube  had a sight line painted on it .

All through training and my 3 years asan infantry platoon comd, the hand-held 60 was one of the tools in the pl weapons detachment (along with a GPMG and a Carl G).  In the 90s we started using the bipod.  The theoretical drill was that every man in the pl carried a few rds.  In a coy atk the mortars could be consolidated under the coy HQ.

A decision has been made to divest the 60s (along with the .50 MGs).  They are both being repl with the AGL...except for reserve inf units who have been stripped of the 60s with no intention of giving them AGLs...

Joined sometime in 2008.                  Live in Canada.        

I am a fan from the perspective of having a lighter-weight, maneuverable HE projector in the platoon.  However, from a safety perspective, I doubt the Army would ever touch it.  What keeps joe from dropping a 'regular' 60mm round down it?  

Maybe they should field a 59mm round, with ammo that will work in extremis from the M224, but that will not accept our full-strength (lol) 60mm ammo.  Otherwise, I wonder if these go boom if you use the wrong ammo?  Not that any Soldier would EVER do that...

Tankersteve

In Yorktown, VA.          Joined August 2008

Gov't Civilian, after retiring from active duty in 2015. 

 

'One's own open sore never smells.'  - Haitian proverb

My perspective (as a former 60mm 11C Section Leader w/ 2/75 Rangers & later 11CS/18B SF Heavy Weapons NCO);

1. The baby mortars (50mm -60mm) are a very responsive and effective form of firepower. Quicker to employ than distant supporting fires. In that respect, no different than GPMGs, AT launchers, or manpack recoilless rifles.  Some systems (like the M19 & M224 I used) are very capable when laid-in for observed fire missions. Just as accurate and adjustable as their bigger brothers, but operating within the lesser range limits of 60mm ammo.

2. 60mm ammo is simply much more effective than rifle launched grenades. More explosive payload, more range, more fragmentation, greater burst radius, greater lethality. And most importantly... more effective options to throw against the enemy: HE, WP, or Illum. Proximity (4m high air burst), near surface (1m low air burst), impact (point detonating),  & delay (.5 second to penetrate overhead cover) fuzing. Tailored effect that grenade launchers and most AT rockets just can't match.  Enemy PKM at 1000m over on the next hill? They'd better have overhead cover. Or be able to shoot through a cloud of WP while they're also on fire. Enemy squad maneuvering up a wadi or arroyo while out of direct line of sight from most friendly weapons and observers? Air burst. Indirect fire. The ability to reach directly over or behind protective terrain.  Area effect.

3. Handheld mode is something that varies in effectiveness depending upon one thing: live fire training expenditure. In units where gunners get a lot of live fire practice ammo, handheld fire is amazingly effective. If gunners only get rare live fire practice in that mode, less so.  Pretty much the same constraint that determines a grenadier's effectiveness with his grenade launcher. If you fire enough ammo often enough, the ability to smoke point targets with initial rounds goes up exponentially. If I give a 40mm grenadier an afternoon and a case or two of ammo, I can have him placing 40mm grenades directly through pickup truck side windows at 250 meters by the end of the day. So it is with handheld mortars. Live fire practice makes perfect. 

4. But... mortars in effect deliver area munitions. Precision hits are great, but not usually necessary. An air burst gets everything not under cover within its effective radius. Denying the use of reverse slope defenses and open to the sky positions. Illumination flares (especially invisible IR rounds) disrupt the enemy's night time Cloaking Device and gets followed by effective fires. WP both obscures the enemy's ability to observe you and effectively train his fires on you. Sowing confusion & uncertainty. Allowing you to maneuver forward (or withdraw).  It also burns shit. Most people have a visceral aversion to being burned alive. Mortars deliver not just physically lethal effect, but also psychological effect.  "My bullet defeating cover isn't working, I can't see the other guy, I have wounded & dead, and my men are on fire...!" Kinda like the threat of the bayonet... but at distance.  Something that causes the enemy to waver where he might otherwise stand.

5. At 2/75, I began as a 60mm  assistant ammo bearer (load bearing donkey with a rifle), progressed to gunner (load bearing donkey with a cannon & pistol) and eventually became the mortar section leader (load bearing donkey with manpack radios & rifle).  We fired more annual live rounds as a 2-gun company mortar section than a mechanized brigade's complement of mortars for the time. It showed. We could jump in, get the section "Into Action" (laid in) within minutes, and provide accurate & responsive indirect fires called in by Line Doggie FOs or Company FIST.

But... in travelling mode we employed that little puddle shooter by having the gunner wearing it slung across his front with a ready round handy. Already set in trigger-fire mode. Essentially employed as a big trigger fired grenade launcher. With a WP round as the first shot. That choice being predicated on the idea that it was useful to kill, burn, & obscure the first visible (or directed) enemy target.  In the event of a TIC, that flaming white smoke would suppress the enemy, obscure his fires, and give the company's other weapons a target indicator for engagement.  Usually travelling a ways back in platoon or company movement formation, the gunners naturally awaited calls for fire from Platoon or Company Leadership, who usually kept the mortars in their hip pocket. But in the absence of immediate guidance, the gunner was expected to start looking for business just as a machine gun team or grenadier would.

6. Direct Fire Mode. That little bit in the video where the guy fires his small baseplate against a vehicle tire? Sorry, that's sales fluff. He didn't hit anything he was remotely aiming at. He barely kept the gun from bouncing into his leg. Not only would I not do that to a perfectly good tire sidewall on the vehicle I'm depending upon, but the accuracy isn't there for anything but Saving Private Ryan Sticky Bomb distance. Which is too fucking close for a mortar round. On even the most minimum charge, a recoiling "handheld" mortar will chop your toes right out of your boots if you somehow got them under the baseplate. Never mind "knee mortars" (which never were designed for firing off of a knee).

In my younger days, we experimented with 60mm M19s as Direct Fire weapons. The concept worked... somewhat.

Most effective was to shoulder mount the tube like a Gustav or LAW, and snug the small baseplate into a tree trunk or sandbag. (You need something with a little bit of give or you run the likely risk of cracking the baseplate in half.) Then press the firing lever while using Kentucky Windage over the top of the muzzle. You had to be aware of arming distance.

Most likely and practical use is to engage windows or doorways on building or bunkers, followed by moving vehicles. The round has to stay snugly seated at the base of the cannon's interior base, so you're pretty much limited to keeping the muzzle just above horizontal. Improvised bazooka with no sights. We also tried direct fire off of bipod mounted guns.  The problem was that at maximum feet forward extension of the bipod, with the gun pointed more horizontally than vertically, all the recoil tended to kick the baseplate rearward rather than downward into absorbent Mother Earth. Meaning that at the moment of firing, the cannon's recoil drove the baseplate straight back across the ground, the bipod legs collapse and tip to one side, the cannon depresses to slightly below horizontal... and the round shoots out of the muzzle and slithers like a live explosive snake through the grass immediately in front of the gun... armed but not detonated. It always helps when you have someone like  2nd Ranger Battalion Commander LTC Wayne A. Downing watching the demonstration.  LOL.

But yeah, with a handheld 10lb mortar and small baseplate, you could launch rounds into a 2nd story window across the street, or even into a bunker face... as long as you could find a recoil absorbing surface to take the blow of the base plate's impact. You are not holding the cannon in your hands and firing it. Mortars are designed to shoot up into the sky and send all recoil down into the ground. "Handheld" means that the meat puppet shooting it uses his hands to hold the thing pointed up, aim it, and keep it from falling over. He doesn't do a thing to absorb recoil by use of muscle power. 

In Afghanistan we sometimes kept an M224 cannon & small baseplate strapped to the cargo bed roll bars in Toyota pickups and placed a couple of sandbags on the cargo bed floor. No bipod, no sight, and no large baseplate. In theory, we could fire from the bed. In reality, any engagement where we continued to move meant that everyone in back was either manning the pintle mounted machine gun or holding on for dear life. But it was a simple thing to dismount, unstrap the cannon, and access three or four boxes of vehicle carried 60mm ammo when stopped. The ammo crates made handy cargo bed seats for anyone in back.

Which leads into the whole notion of bringing along handheld mortars for motorized troops. If you're in an RG/MRAP/SUV/Pickup type vehicle... why the hell not? With wheeled transport, you can carry a significant & fight deciding amount of mortar ammo. Vehicle carry solves the number one problem with humping mortars... ammo supply.

7. Organization & Manning for a Handheld Mortar. During my time in Army SF, I had occasion to mount the occasional training mission where we used 60mm M19 cannon tubes to support DA Missions. Strap the gun to a ruck, load everyone with ammo for that specific mission's Actions On the Objective, and carry on with infil. Like the guy in the video with the Gucci carry bag for the 10lb cannon. Great for SOF. Raid type support weapon. Operator also carries a carbine. But in an Infantry platoon or company, guns need to be organized as teams... just as you would with an M240.  One guy cannot carry a useful amount of fire mission ammo, plus  an M4A1, plus the mortar tube, plus all his other stuff.  One guy can carry and employ a little commando mortar, but he isn't able to sustain fire, nor provide his own local security (while firing) without at least an assistant.

I'd disagree with incorporating handheld mortars at squad level as a general MTOE practice. Especially in a typically wartime undermanned US Army 8-man squad. But... at platoon level, you simply assign a 2-3 man mortar team same-same as your organic or attached GPMG or AT teams.  Which is how we did it in the Ranger Batts.  They can carry a moderately useful load of ammo (since they aren't carrying bipod, sight, large baseplate, plotting board, aiming stakes, aiming stake lights, firing tables, accessory batteries, etc.). Instead, the gunner has that big trigger fired cannon, the assistant gunner is available to load, and the ammo bearer (if present) provides ammo prep &  rear/flank security while the gun is in action. All three carry rounds. All three carry carbines. Everyone else in the platoon carries 2 mortar rounds. Except for machine gun or AT crews, RTOs,  and medics.

Mortar crews have their own MOS and section organization at MTOE unit levels. Because the weapon system & skill required is pretty involved. You have to grow Gunners, Fire Direction Control specialists, Mortar Section Leaders over many months and years. Because you are throwing HE artillery rounds at targets unseen by the firers. Laying in guns on magnetic azimuths, calls for fire, forward observer procedures, coordinated illumination missions, firing sheafs, TOT missions, screening missions, plotting boards, FDC computations, reciprocal lay, traversing fires, and all the other voodoo involved. You can only train folks proficiently to those skills by centrally manning a dedicated mortar section or platoon.

With handheld fires, you reduce the training requirements to very simple Direct Lay or Direct Alignment missions (visual direct fire targeting). Really no different than how you employ grenadiers or machine gun teams.  See the target, shoot the target. With Adult leadership prioritizing what needs to be a priority target.  So a gun team under the Platoon Commander (or Weapons Squad Leader) becomes a fairly simple to train and employ arrow in the quiver. All you need is an 11B bump to the MTOE to man however many guns you want to keep at platoon level (1-2). Doesn't even need to be MOS 11Cs (mortarman) doing the job. Because, at that very limited level of mission capability, you can train non-11Cs to handle day & night visual engagements out to max range at handheld (about 1300 meters)...

8. One day I trained members of my SF Company to crew three 60mm mortars out on a range at Ft Benning. Not a one of them was a mortarman. That was deliberate. We were planning to do a night FPF (Final Protective Fire) exercise, using all hands and all weapons against a simulated enemy insurgent battalion attack (El Salvador era scenario). So 70 or so dudes entrenched with all rifles, sniper systems machine guns, LAWs, 40 mm, Claymores, wire, flame fougasse, hand grenades, etc. dialed in on pop-up arrays starting out at ~600 meters and moving the exposure in to the final emplaced wire barriers. A completely prepared "sector" of simulated perimeter with range cards, FPF plan, wire obstacles, directional mines, and crew served guns emplaced.

Two M224 cannons were employed in handheld mode with small baseplate and no bipod or dovetailed sight. Each gun had an assigned Gunner to aim & fire, AG to hang rounds, and an Ammo Bearer to feed the AG with fresh rounds (HE & WP).  Third cannon was the full gun (bipod, large baseplate, sight, and cannon). This gun was supplied with illum rounds only. 

We simulated an emergency "Stand To" occurring after dark, with the entire company donning harnesses, ammo, weapons, rucks, etc. and rushing forward to join on duty LP/OPs on the simulated perimeter and man fighting positions, light bunkers, and trenches. "Enemy" pop-up target arrays began appearing almost immediately out at distance. Every man in the company passed behind the mortar firing points and dropped off 2-4 rounds of 60mm ammo. Same idea as everyone in a unit carrying spare rucksack ammo for machine guns.  Something we also did by SOP back in the Rangers to feed our mortars. The idea here being to simulate hasty employment of mortars utilizing alternate positions (vice utilizing prepared firing pits with ready ammo storage bunkers). So about two hundred or so rounds available for the engagement.

As the range went hot, successive weapon systems began engaging at appropriate distances and the Hand Held 60mm gunners were smoking target arrays from the very beginning out at 600 meters. After only a day at the range learning how to 1) handle & hang the rounds, 2) handle, aim, and fire the tube using manual trigger, and 3) estimating ranges, fuzing, and charges. Medics, Engineers, Radio Operators, doing this instead of 11C or 18B mortar types. 

The Illumination Gun was taught to throw up a hasty and continuous "Iron Cross" of parachute flare illumination rounds. Left, Right, Long, and Short. Keeping the entire range fan under continuous illum. Time the burnout and sling more illum into the sky, gradually moving it in, but keeping it behind the  inwardly moving target arrays.  They just fired rounds in a repetitious pattern, gradually bringing in the range. No guns laid in by compass or aiming circle. Just a hip shoot at (for mortars) close range.

This in a day before thermals, IR lasers, etc. The illum allowed every gun and munition in the company to find targets in the dark. A white light fight with a final expenditure of all FPF 60mm HE at minimum range against the same targets that all other weapons were engaging...at about 75-100 meters.

The guys gained an appreciation for the sheer firepower and utility of handheld mortar systems manned by essentially super-grenadiers not using laid in guns, plotting boards, or adjusted call for fire procedures. All were impressed and saw the usefulness of the guns.

My point? I can train a fucking monkey to be deadly with hand held mortars at platoon & company fight distances.  So too could the rest of the Infantry if they elected to assign hand-held cannons (like that very lightweight model in the video) down at platoon level. I think the idea has merit. Ultra-lightweight mortars at that level would fill a capability & responsiveness gap. The only limitation is The Soldier's Load while on foot. How much ammo the entire force can carry on the march. Two rounds per platoon or company rifleman is not unreasonable. BTDT.

 

Just my $.02

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The moral high ground is sometimes just a head on a long pike... - Astronomy

 

A new Plt Ldr is like a first time new mother. The Plt Sgt is a lifelong midwife and nanny. It's your baby, but he knows a lot about changing diapers and other ugly things. - Astronomy

Agreed, Astronomy, that was pretty awesome.

My VERY limited perspective is that of an extra with a light infantry platoon in A'stan, conducting dismounted patrols, and carrying my designated 2x 60mm rounds.  Not too big a thing.  However, the kid with the mortar, ruck, weapon and PC for the three day mission was not a happy camper.  He was carrying more than the medic, and his ruck was ridiculously cumbersome, with the tube strapped horizontally, then vertically, then at an angle, to make it less awkward.  I know it was his first time with it, but nobody had any special kit to set it up well.  

As Astronomy noted, 1300m is the limit for hand-held mode.  So why not a tube and ammo designed for that range?  It would likely be carried by a regular troop, so no IDF role and therefore very little need for longer range.

Tankersteve

In Yorktown, VA.          Joined August 2008

Gov't Civilian, after retiring from active duty in 2015. 

 

'One's own open sore never smells.'  - Haitian proverb

"Most effective was to shoulder mount the tube like a Gustav or LAW, and snug the small baseplate into a tree trunk or sandbag. (You need something with a little bit of give or you run the likely risk of cracking the baseplate in half.) Then press the firing lever while using Kentucky Windage over the top of the muzzle. You had to be aware of arming distance."

Mind if I spread that to some (recent) users?

tankersteve posted:

Agreed, Astronomy, that was pretty awesome.

My VERY limited perspective is that of an extra with a light infantry platoon in A'stan, conducting dismounted patrols, and carrying my designated 2x 60mm rounds.  Not too big a thing.  However, the kid with the mortar, ruck, weapon and PC for the three day mission was not a happy camper.  He was carrying more than the medic, and his ruck was ridiculously cumbersome, with the tube strapped horizontally, then vertically, then at an angle, to make it less awkward.  I know it was his first time with it, but nobody had any special kit to set it up well.  

As Astronomy noted, 1300m is the limit for hand-held mode.  So why not a tube and ammo designed for that range?  It would likely be carried by a regular troop, so no IDF role and therefore very little need for longer range.

Tankersteve

As an AFV type...your opinion on incorporating 60mm or similar onto AFV?  Some countries do it but what are the pro/con?

I'm all for it. Some nations utilize (or have in the past) mounted 60mm breech fired mortars for upping turreted firepower on vehicles and boats. In US circles, tracked AFVs are purpose designed as mortar carriers and we have moved almost exclusively to 120mm mortars for those vehicles. I've seen Stryker wheeled AFV mortar carriers that use both 81s and 120s (one or the other). 

The idea being that a 60mm is just too small to justify wrapping an armored vehicle around it... when you can carry heavier, longer ranged, more capable 120mm cannons with the same vehicle instead. You couldn't even see over the top of a mortar carrier's side armor with a little 60mm mounted inside. Which makes it kinda difficult to use artillery sights or lay in a gun. While 60mm mortars are a foot portable marvel, 120mm is a whole 'nother class of truly heavy fire capability and range. The big boys employ the smaller mortars (60 or 81) as essentially BUGs for ground mounted use.  

Mortar Carrier AFVs give mortar crews the ability to shoot and scoot (while under armor protection) in a counter battery fire artillery environment. One where the enemy is likely to rapidly saturate the radar identified mortar firing point of origin. They also provide integrated comms/FDC computers, vehicular mounted night vision,  a shelter for the crew, & crew served support fire from vehicular mounted machine guns. High angle indirect fire able to keep up with mounted infantry. The few times I got to work with mechanized mortar platoons, I was envious of their ability to haul ammo, rapidly emplace/displace, and cover ground. Of course, the flip side is that they are big targets that can't just traverse all terrain. Big targets attract big enemy munitions. 

I've seen some smaller off road wheeled vehicles / all-terrain buggies proffered by various defense firms over the years. Designed to full-time mount smaller mortars. But I'm not sure who has actually adopted them. A 60mm mortar can be thrown into a sub compact car and then transported. The trick is to field a vehicle that mounts the cannon full time on a rotating plate able to absorb recoil while also providing enough traverse and range of elevation for the guns employment. 

50mm -60mm mortars excel at being man portable firepower. "Poor Man's Artillery". If you spend money to field AFVs, it makes more sense to maximize throw weight and range by going with a larger mortar system. Because AFVs can readily handle moving the bigger stuff around the battlefield... while foot infantry can't.   

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The moral high ground is sometimes just a head on a long pike... - Astronomy

 

A new Plt Ldr is like a first time new mother. The Plt Sgt is a lifelong midwife and nanny. It's your baby, but he knows a lot about changing diapers and other ugly things. - Astronomy

Astronomy posted:

I'm all for it. Some nations utilize (or have in the past) mounted 60mm breech fired mortars for upping turreted firepower on vehicles and boats. In US circles, tracked AFVs are purpose designed as mortar carriers and we have moved almost exclusively to 120mm mortars for those vehicles. I've seen Stryker wheeled AFV mortar carriers that use both 81s and 120s (one or the other). 

The idea being that a 60mm is just too small to justify wrapping an armored vehicle around it... when you can carry heavier, longer ranged, more capable 120mm cannons with the same vehicle instead. You couldn't even see over the top of a mortar carrier's side armor with a little 60mm mounted inside. Which makes it kinda difficult to use artillery sights or lay in a gun. While 60mm mortars are a foot portable marvel, 120mm is a whole 'nother class of truly heavy fire capability and range. The big boys employ the smaller mortars (60 or 81) as essentially BUGs for ground mounted use.  

Mortar Carrier AFVs give mortar crews the ability to shoot and scoot (while under armor protection) in a counter battery fire artillery environment. One where the enemy is likely to rapidly saturate the radar identified mortar firing point of origin. They also provide integrated comms/FDC computers, vehicular mounted night vision,  a shelter for the crew, & crew served support fire from vehicular mounted machine guns. High angle indirect fire able to keep up with mounted infantry. The few times I got to work with mechanized mortar platoons, I was envious of their ability to haul ammo, rapidly emplace/displace, and cover ground. Of course, the flip side is that they are big targets that can't just traverse all terrain. Big targets attract big enemy munitions. 

I've seen some smaller off road wheeled vehicles / all-terrain buggies proffered by various defense firms over the years. Designed to full-time mount smaller mortars. But I'm not sure who has actually adopted them. A 60mm mortar can be thrown into a sub compact car and then transported. The trick is to field a vehicle that mounts the cannon full time on a rotating plate able to absorb recoil while also providing enough traverse and range of elevation for the guns employment. 

50mm -60mm mortars excel at being man portable firepower. "Poor Man's Artillery". If you spend money to field AFVs, it makes more sense to maximize throw weight and range by going with a larger mortar system. Because AFVs can readily handle moving the bigger stuff around the battlefield... while foot infantry can't.   

Sorry, I miscommunicated.  I'm sold on the utility of 81mm & 120mm dedicated AFV.

I was referring to the 60mm mortars the French & others installed on some of their light AFV: South Africans & Rhodesians used them for example.  One of my rellies obtained a 60mm & rounds from US sources and mounted it on  top of his MBT and used it for many of the reasons you highlighted: smoke/WP, illume & the odd HE. Filled the gap between his M79 & the long gun.

It occurred to me if much of your forces are on light AFV/protected vehicles, might not a bracket on the deck for inf to slip a 60mm onto be worthwhile?

Linz posted:
  
 

Sorry, I miscommunicated.  I'm sold on the utility of 81mm & 120mm dedicated AFV.

I was referring to the 60mm mortars the French & others installed on some of their light AFV: South Africans & Rhodesians used them for example.  One of my rellies obtained a 60mm & rounds from US sources and mounted it on  top of his MBT and used it for many of the reasons you highlighted: smoke/WP, illume & the odd HE. Filled the gap between his M79 & the long gun.

It occurred to me if much of your forces are on light AFV/protected vehicles, might not a bracket on the deck for inf to slip a 60mm onto be worthwhile?

If I'm not mistaken, that's why the Israeli's have an internal 60mm mortar on the Merkava MBT in addition to M2 and 2x 7.62mm GPMGs.

Tenui Nec Dimittam

 

"Ideals are peaceful.  History is violent"   -Wardaddy, Fury

 

Joined: 8/5/07         Location: Chester County, PA

"My point? I can train a fucking monkey to be deadly with hand held mortars at platoon & company fight distances.  So too could the rest of the Infantry if they elected to assign hand-held cannons (like that very lightweight model in the video) down at platoon level."

The knowledge Astronomy displayed and conveyed in such a manner that even I could understand it was just outstanding. I'm sold on the whole concept, the flexibility, and the life saving (our guys) killing power (theirs). I want Astronomy to be SecDef's consultant on doing bad things to bad people, at least from the Infantry perspective.

- - - -
Never be biased. Get to know people, and then hate them for objective reasons. They will almost always give you plenty.

www.routledge.com/9781138302969 (NOTE: Live Link)

It occurred to me if much of your forces are on light AFV/protected vehicles, might not a bracket on the deck for inf to slip a 60mm onto be worthwhile?

 

Sure. Why not? But breach loaded (e.g., hydraulically dampened Brandt 60mm mortar) is probably the way to go. On a smaller vehicle you need some way to load and point the damn thing that doesn't involve playing a game of Twister out of the hatch, turret, or passenger compartment.  Or two guys trying to operate and hang rounds on an exposed & crowded platform. One man operation should be the objective.

America is not always quick on the uptake when it comes to adopting proven good idea weaponry...especially if not designed here.  We've been screwing around with a succession of different non-reloadable AT/AP rocket launchers since the late 1950s. Meanwhile, most everyone else just adopted Soviet style RPG-7s. It only took us 30 years to generally issue a belt fed 40mm GL first employed back in Vietnam. It took only thirty or so belated years for the US Army to finally adopt a Carl Gustav launcher it first looked at (and dismissed) back in the 1970s. Or field a lightened and fixed head space & timing M2 .50 cal MG... decades after it became available and long after our own allies adopted them. We stuck with the Korean War era M19 60mm mortar for about 30 years before fielding the improved M224 in the 1980s.

We do rapid change with gee-whiz stuff from defense contractors: Javelin missiles, day/night stabilized CROWS turrets, guided smart munitions, super expensive electronic sights for grenade launchers, etc. Simpler shit that just goes bang sometimes gets short thrift in our procurement priorities.

Perhaps a new type of 60mm mortar would be viable on some of the newer vehicles being fielded?  But probably not an existing M224.  And a lot of folks prefer other direct fire somethings usable for slaying other vehicles, helicopters, or hard targets at distance. 25mm auto-cannon, HMG, TOW, etc. Current US 60mm mortar ammo could not address those kinds of targets.

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The moral high ground is sometimes just a head on a long pike... - Astronomy

 

A new Plt Ldr is like a first time new mother. The Plt Sgt is a lifelong midwife and nanny. It's your baby, but he knows a lot about changing diapers and other ugly things. - Astronomy

Astronomy posted:

 

a lot of folks prefer other direct fire somethings usable for slaying other vehicles, helicopters, or hard targets at distance. 25mm auto-cannon, HMG, TOW, etc. Current US 60mm mortar ammo could not address those kinds of targets.

There's a ground variant of the M230 Apache gun that they are working on, think the Navy already has a version .

All generations of the Merkava have a 60mm mortar. On the MK1 it was muzzle loaded from the outside. All since the MK2 are breech loaded.

MK 2 and later:

merkava-mortar

________________________

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Great way to cover dead space, provide illum back in the day, etc.  Never saw the mount before.

In Yorktown, VA.          Joined August 2008

Gov't Civilian, after retiring from active duty in 2015. 

 

'One's own open sore never smells.'  - Haitian proverb

Gotta love the LF SME community.  Astronomy's post should be stickied.    

What's the recommend method of load carrying the two rounds per rifleman?  I assume you would want it to be readily accessible but easy to move and carry?

Looking at the TTPs Astronomy mentioned, I've seen references to stuff like that before from the Vietnam era guys.  Those guys learned some hard lessons on dismounted operations. 

It also occurs to me that the mortar might  have been a way to deal with the plunging machine gunfire we got hit with in ASTAN.

Downing,  that's a name I haven't heard in a long time.  I met him once at OCS after he retired, he seemed like a decent dude.  They loved to make us run the Downing mile.   

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I'm either dead right, or horribly wrong. Either way the results should be entertaining.

 

"Shoot the MOTHERF$%^ER until he changes shape or catches fire"  the PAT ROGERS

Well, something better than "Take a two round plastic container as you move past the pallet"

Mystery Ranch had a 84mm round carrier for their packs- perhaps a skinny 2-3 round version for 60mm?

Single/double round MOLLE pouch a'la 40x46mm rounds?

Specialised RAID style bag with configurable internals (maint kit/optics/CES/limited rounds for gunner & plain rounds for the mules?)

Metal/synthetic 'ready' box for vehicles or positions?  Take an existing box/can & configure as required with padding & liners.

Specialised carry bag based on the 7.62x51mm link bags available but with dividers for individual rounds & additional padding?  Those sound like you put together your self configured to your own purposes.

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