Mortars as individual weapons?

I've seen, touched, carried surplus 60 mm plastic tubes. US has (had?) the 4 tube one, Canada-maybe has a 3 tube, maybe others but I didn't pay too much attention. 2-3 rounds (plastic or foam blocks keep rounds apart) per tube with a screw top, all glued/clipped together. Not unlike the two tube thing for the Carl G. Good ones have plenty of slots to strap to the back of a pack. 

We've done a few FOF / game / training things where several of these were weighted as notional ammo and the team has to bring them to the "mortars," so get carried for hours or days, then dismount. With minimal planning and spare buckles/webbing, it works okay. Due to weight, much more comfy inside the pack, but then it's much harder to get them out. But since everything is heavy, take your pick. 

I've always though a single tube (2-3 in a stack)* would make sense and hope whoever is working on this new lightweight system realizes it's a system and needs things like clever carrying tubes. To me: tube comes with many webbing tie downs, arrange it along the side of the pack, inside, across or whatever you want then. Bonus: clip several together, have integral handles and carry 6 or 9 or 12 several rounds like as briefcase for short hauls, bucket brigade movements, toss behind seats in a truck, etc. 

I have many more questions and ideas (why not rifle grenades? why not spigot mortars? why 60 to confuse everyone? why not use modern digital tech to give a super-compact sight? ...), but totally past the end of my actual knowledge on any of this so will try to shut up now. 

 

* Apparently this is a terrible idea. Don't listen to me. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

In my units, mortar rounds were always carried by riflemen , in the mortar fiber (container), with tape securing the lid all the way.   The increments have to be protected from moisture and any sort of flame or ember.

Where It was carried, was an inividual preference thing, and also based on space.

In the days of ALICE, they were strapped under the top flap.  Once MOLLE arrived, they were usually secured to the side of the assault/sustainment pack frame.

I've never seen a need for a niche means of stowage in a vehicle, as current 60mm mortar rounds come packed in a metal container just the right size for the fibers.  Pop the rounds out to remove the protective collar over the increments, then re-insert and put the lid on.  I imagine newer ammo for one of these iMortars comes packed in a similar fashion.

See the 1:10 mark here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=R9Lt7CHSIF4

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

"I've always though a single tube (2-3 in a stack) would make sense and hope whoever is working on this new lighweight system realizes it's a system and needs things like clever carrying tubes."

Are you thinking to stack the rounds on top of each other?  No bueno.  You're dealing with a sensitive fuze.  Sure, it needs setback force and rotation to arm, But you want to be dealing with one round at a time, not 2-3 sloshing around, in the dark, in the cold and the wet.

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

I entirely take your word for it, and lucky you I have no actual input to this. Based on seeing how the 60 mm tubes I saw worked; there were fitted plastic (foam?) things between the rounds. Maybe they transport sans fuse? 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

shoobe01 posted:

I entirely take your word for it, and lucky you I have no actual input to this. Based on seeing how the 60 mm tubes I saw worked; there were fitted plastic (foam?) things between the rounds. Maybe they transport sans fuse? 

Eh, I'm cutting up battery caddy & re-gluing them together to make up individual weekly resup of batteries that are fly safe & compact.  I'm recommending to the distributor that they come in assemblies of two that can be clipped together for what the user needs: so many 123, AA, AAA etc.

Do that with your 60mm carry tubes: as the user requires, click together the tubes into twos, threes...whatever storage or portage configuration is desired.  Toss in a quasi disposable sling in each factory can of the tubes.

 

I remember  seeing a rig sitting on  the shelf in stores for hauling mortar rounds..I was heavy cotton duck like the 77 set accessory bags. These things were at least Korean war era. they looked like the double hip pouches letter carriers use, CQ told me it was for carrying mortar rounds.That was 20 years ago  ,never saw them leave the shelf till they got dumpstered.

Eat til you are tired sleep til you are hungry

firemission4mortars posted:

I remember  seeing a rig sitting on  the shelf in stores for hauling mortar rounds..I was heavy cotton duck like the 77 set accessory bags. These things were at least Korean war era. they looked like the double hip pouches letter carriers use, CQ told me it was for carrying mortar rounds.That was 20 years ago  ,never saw them leave the shelf till they got dumpstered.

Like the carrier a little bit down this page?  http://www.90thidpg.us/Researc...ableauNr1/page2.html

The best our guys can get for Ammo carriage are 40mm grenadier vests.

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

shoobe01 posted:

I entirely take your word for it, and lucky you I have no actual input to this. Based on seeing how the 60 mm tubes I saw worked; there were fitted plastic (foam?) things between the rounds. Maybe they transport sans fuse? 

I'd be a bit doubtful regarding double round single tubes with a removable foam divider to separate tail from fuse that was repackable...particularly for some potential export customers.

Two easy solutions:

1: two round single tube with permanent divider/packing did-length & with resealable cap on each end.

2: Single round tube with my clippit idea that can be clipped end-to-end to form something like #1

Further point of consideration: beer.  Make packaging compatible.  I knew a mortar Pl SGT who came close to tears when he realized that the new 750mm Fosters tins were just a tiny bit too big to fit in the UK or US 81mm packing tubes.  Just a little bit of marketing research by the brewery could have avoided this.

firemission4mortars posted:

I remember  seeing a rig sitting on  the shelf in stores for hauling mortar rounds..I was heavy cotton duck like the 77 set accessory bags. These things were at least Korean war era. they looked like the double hip pouches letter carriers use, CQ told me it was for carrying mortar rounds.That was 20 years ago  ,never saw them leave the shelf till they got dumpstered.

Tried them once or twice.  Reverted to an Alice frame mit cargo stand & 6x single tubes strapped on.

FM 7-90 has a full overview of mediocre and old timey ways to carry 60 mm mortar rounds in their general SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE 60-mm MORTAR SECTION section. My favorite image is certainly this one: 

http://www.globalsecurity.org/...army/fm/7-90/Ch8.htm

 

And there is at least a development project (by ONR, so for Marines) for a snazzy sight for 60 mm mortars:

A sight for sore eyes: New accuracy for 60mm mortars

The Office of Naval Research TechSolutions 60mm mortar prototype electronic Fire Control Unit (FCU) utilizes a mini red dot sight for day aiming and has laser capabilities for improved night fire accuracy when using the mortar in the handheld mode. The FCU also contains an onboard ballistic library allowing for multiple cartridge employment. ONR TechSolutions accepts recommendations and suggestions from Navy and Marine Corps personnel on ways to improve mission effectiveness through the application of new technology. Credit: US Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

jcustisredux posted:
firemission4mortars posted:

I remember  seeing a rig sitting on  the shelf in stores for hauling mortar rounds..I was heavy cotton duck like the 77 set accessory bags. These things were at least Korean war era. they looked like the double hip pouches letter carriers use, CQ told me it was for carrying mortar rounds.That was 20 years ago  ,never saw them leave the shelf till they got dumpstered.

Like the carrier a little bit down this page?  http://www.90thidpg.us/Researc...ableauNr1/page2.html

The best our guys can get for Ammo carriage are 40mm grenadier vests.

I don't know anything about "hipbags" but we did use the "bibs" as pictured in the link above...kinda sucked...

Joined sometime in 2008.                  Live in Canada.        

As a medic this discussion is a bit out of my lane. But I must said I thoroughly enjoyed the level of detail and discussion that's going on here. Solid Stuff.

It reminded me of a video I saw and I thought was worth sharing. The Japanese, back in WWII saw the effectiveness of having such a rapid deploy indirect fire weapon. Type 89 "Knee Mortar", Simple setup and deployment, ingenious method of adjusting the range of the projectile. Weapon was always aimed and at  a 45degree angle, with the range adjustment being made by a quick adjustment of the depth of the grenade/mortar in the tube. Apparently used to Good effect in an age where the next quickest option was a tedious to load rifle grenade.

https://youtu.be/anlaOcpi8JA

 

Searching for a part, stumbled across this not unlike some of those foreign ones I had seen, and it's American! For long-ass illum rounds so just a 4 round tube. I like all the slots which I assume you can use to strap it down to things, and it seems to have handles, on both sides no less.  

I wonder if the squareish shapes on the sides are arranged to let them stack neatly. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

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Cadets, Lieutenants, and Captains are not taught the death and scunnion you can inflict with mortars -- a heck of a lot more effect and range than 40mm grenades.

Today's generation of quad-carriers (Polaris, military Razor, John Deere, etc.) are the Mechanical Mule's modern descendants and are perfect for hauling mini-mortars like these in a Lightfighter environment.

One of my 1SGs with an interesting service background told me about trigger-firing a 60mm mortar from a sandbag base, out of the back of a Pinzgauer while dodging Iraqi troops during SCUD hunts.  

Back in the early 90s in my Light Infantry company, EVERYONE carried two-to-three 60mm mortar rounds at the top of their ruck.  After leaving the ORP we'd drop them off as we passed through the mortar position enroute to the OBJ.  

Sinister posted:

Cadets, Lieutenants, and Captains are not taught the death and scunnion you can inflict with mortars -- a heck of a lot more effect and range than 40mm grenades.

Today's generation of quad-carriers (Polaris, military Razor, John Deere, etc.) are the Mechanical Mule's modern descendants and are perfect for hauling mini-mortars like these in a Lightfighter environment.

 

Rest assured, the lessons are being learned and, especially with our current mission set, the value of mortars is not being underestimated.

After seeing our ability to effect the battlefield with 60, 81, and 120mm mortars while using a plotting board (two deployments worth of trying to get our LHMBC replaced), my detachment brought the lessons back to our Group. Mortar training throughout 5th SFG increased across the board in preparation for operations in Syria. With the advent of systems such as the M150 120mm and the RFSS the 120s play a huge role even in elements as small as 6-8 guys. We ran the M150 with 2 guys and were devastatingly effective.  With snipers providing information on targets, relayed to UAV (COTS) operators, then to the mortar team, the ability to have 5 rounds on the way to the target before the first hits proved to be a game changer in the battle space.  Then employing the UAVs to spot impacts, cross referencing with ATAK software (with constantly updated imagery), to provide to the meter corrections for the 120s enabled precision targeting of enemy elements.

Additionally, all members of the Detachment were trained on the 60mm mortar system. This enabled any one man to get behind the mortar and get rounds on target within a minute in the event of chance contact.  Our operations were based soley out of Hilux trucks, and it is too easy to have a 60mm with rounds in the bed that anyone can run over and grab.

The video footage of the amount of devastation that can be brought to bear by a 8-12 man element is beyond belief.

Rick

The essence of war is violence. Moderation in war is imbecility. John A. Fisher

BooneGA posted:

two deployments worth of trying to get our LHMBC replaced

Who did you have working on getting your computers replaced, Unit armorer, 3rd shop?

It never took our unit longer than a month to get a total replacement LHMBC during normal operations, before a deployment was closer to a week. We never deployed with out all mission essential equipment, even if we had to sign for it from a unit not deploying.

I would have thought you guys would have more priority for replacement equipment.

In my experience with the units I've been in that don't have all their equipment ready is normally because their not being pro active trying to follow up on getting the ball rolling.

Now getting plotting boards replaced, that's a different story....

BooneGA posted:

The video footage of the amount of devastation that can be brought to bear by a 8-12 man element is beyond belief.

Anything that can be shared? 

Tenui Nec Dimittam

 

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

 

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

hdrolling posted:
BooneGA posted:

two deployments worth of trying to get our LHMBC replaced

Who did you have working on getting your computers replaced, Unit armorer, 3rd shop?

It never took our unit longer than a month to get a total replacement LHMBC during normal operations, before a deployment was closer to a week. We never deployed with out all mission essential equipment, even if we had to sign for it from a unit not deploying.

I would have thought you guys would have more priority for replacement equipment.

In my experience with the units I've been in that don't have all their equipment ready is normally because their not being pro active trying to follow up on getting the ball rolling.

Now getting plotting boards replaced, that's a different story....

Just because its SOF doesnt mean we dont have our own issues.  The device would consume its entire battery life in 10 minutes. When we sent it back, the shop would turn it on, check it out, then return it (before it died) as it had passed all of their tests.  It was a break down of leadership at many levels.  I have emails from all over promising to address the issue from multiple BNs and other elements, but no one ever came through. It was an issue starting the day I got to the team (6 weeks before driving west from Erbil as the 1st SFODA to infil) up until the M150 trailer arrived on my second deployment. 

My 18B was a master of the plotting board, so we still got the job done.

Rick

The essence of war is violence. Moderation in war is imbecility. John A. Fisher

Hussar posted:
BooneGA posted:

The video footage of the amount of devastation that can be brought to bear by a 8-12 man element is beyond belief.

Anything that can be shared? 

When it is determined to be releasable I will gladly share. 

Rick

The essence of war is violence. Moderation in war is imbecility. John A. Fisher

Not that I officially condone such behavior if my lawyer is listening, but a friend of mine used to work in an electronics repair shop. They'd have issues getting things to be credited as dead, due to bad testing process much as BooneGA reported. 

Then they'd pull out the old tape degausser they had, hit up whatever electronic device it was (usually carefully brushing against it, so it would just be very broken vs bone dead) and put it back in the FedEx box, to be tested again. All failed and they'd get the credit or replacement then.

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

shoobe01 posted:

Not that I officially condone such behavior if my lawyer is listening, but a friend of mine used to work in an electronics repair shop. They'd have issues getting things to be credited as dead, due to bad testing process much as BooneGA reported. 

Then they'd pull out the old tape degausser they had, hit up whatever electronic device it was (usually carefully brushing against it, so it would just be very broken vs bone dead) and put it back in the FedEx box, to be tested again. All failed and they'd get the credit or replacement then.

My 18E set out to wire up a power supply that would run off of a cigarette lighter in the trucks.  This resulted in the outcome that you described above.

Rick

The essence of war is violence. Moderation in war is imbecility. John A. Fisher

BooneGA posted:
hdrolling posted:
BooneGA posted:

two deployments worth of trying to get our LHMBC replaced

Who did you have working on getting your computers replaced, Unit armorer, 3rd shop?

It never took our unit longer than a month to get a total replacement LHMBC during normal operations, before a deployment was closer to a week. We never deployed with out all mission essential equipment, even if we had to sign for it from a unit not deploying.

I would have thought you guys would have more priority for replacement equipment.

In my experience with the units I've been in that don't have all their equipment ready is normally because their not being pro active trying to follow up on getting the ball rolling.

Now getting plotting boards replaced, that's a different story....

Just because its SOF doesnt mean we dont have our own issues.  The device would consume its entire battery life in 10 minutes. When we sent it back, the shop would turn it on, check it out, then return it (before it died) as it had passed all of their tests.  It was a break down of leadership at many levels.  I have emails from all over promising to address the issue from multiple BNs and other elements, but no one ever came through. It was an issue starting the day I got to the team (6 weeks before driving west from Erbil as the 1st SFODA to infil) up until the M150 trailer arrived on my second deployment. 

My 18B was a master of the plotting board, so we still got the job done.

Rick

That sucks, I've retired too long to remember who we delt with or the contact info but anything close to a month and we reached out to some reps at the 11C branch at FT Benning and they would have us up and running in no time.

Good on your 18B for making it happen with the plotting board but that's a perishable skill that has to be trained on often and only as quick as using a computer with basic fire missions. I'm not sure of the turnaround of your team members but sending a couple of your guys threw IMLC  might be beneficial, by the sounds of it your 18B already has been.

After our first trip to Syria we brought the IMLC Cadre to 5th Group for just that purpose. However, his skills on the board were from what he learned in the 18B course only. Even taking into account the slowdown due to mistaking cigarette ash for pencil marks, he was pretty damn quick.

Ideally the LHMBC should be replaced by a cell phone app and integrated into ATAK. Some guys from a sister service SOF element developed a way to integrate mortar calculations into it - but we left theater before getting the full details.

One note - DJI Phantoms were recently banned by use in the military, which is a disappointment as we have no comparable UAV capability. Being able to hover beyond the objective and look back along the OT line (clearly marked on the DJI interface) is the quickest way to make precise adjustments.  Another game changer in employment of indirect fire at the team level.

Rick

The essence of war is violence. Moderation in war is imbecility. John A. Fisher

shoobe01 posted:

Not that I officially condone such behavior if my lawyer is listening, but a friend of mine used to work in an electronics repair shop. They'd have issues getting things to be credited as dead, due to bad testing process much as BooneGA reported. 

Then they'd pull out the old tape degausser they had, hit up whatever electronic device it was (usually carefully brushing against it, so it would just be very broken vs bone dead) and put it back in the FedEx box, to be tested again. All failed and they'd get the credit or replacement then.

 

This is an art form all over the military. If you keep scotch taping and putting up with broke ass shit, of course they'll never fix it. It's gotta be REALLY broken. 

 

Like maybe some humvee brakes that "worked fine" until a humvee on humvee collision when the behind truck couldn't stop going down a hill. After that... fixed! (Allegedly)

 

 

 

 

Joined:      14 January 2010                Location:     Lobster emoticonMAINELobster emoticon

BooneGA posted:

Ideally the LHMBC should be replaced by a cell phone app and integrated into ATAK. Some guys from a sister service SOF element developed a way to integrate mortar calculations into it - but we left theater before getting the full details.

Rick

The replacement to the LHMBC is supposed to be a NET Warrior based device (smart phone...ish)

 

of course it will be obsolite before it gets to meet hr field......

As for broken  LHMBC replacements there had been none for some time.  I no longer have the traffic, but basicly you have to order the parts and build your own, which surprisingly is an option. No new production for some time now as they get ready to field the replacements someday.

to get a replacement they basicly have to take it from another unit.

 

Contact these folks for the current truth on repair, my info is dated:

https://pmmortars.army.mil/pmmortars/Contact.aspx

Or ask to speak to the BCT's BLAST Team Chief (AFSBN) about why his TACOM Rep is not solving your LHMBC issues. I believe most of them work in the BSB's/BDE HQ's. The XO should be able to track them down and these are the kind of problems they are supposed (AMC charged them with) to solve for the BCT Commanders.

Desert01 posted:

Contact these folks for the current truth on repair, my info is dated:

https://pmmortars.army.mil/pmmortars/Contact.aspx

Or ask to speak to the BCT's BLAST Team Chief (AFSBN) about why his TACOM Rep is not solving your LHMBC issues. I believe most of them work in the BSB's/BDE HQ's. The XO should be able to track them down and these are the kind of problems they are supposed (AMC charged them with) to solve for the BCT Commanders.

Tracking - I left the team back in June to head to Key West, but ill hit up my 18Bs and see if they have made any progress.  I appreciate the help.

Rick

The essence of war is violence. Moderation in war is imbecility. John A. Fisher

I have been pleasantly surprised by the direction and interest in this thread.  I've learned an awful lot about mortars.

Which leads me to ask this question: why is there no "crew-served weapons" forum on LF?  Given the interest in this particular thread, I suspect others may want to discuss or ask questions about their heavier weapons.  Surely not every Soldier or Marine (past or present) on LF is (or was) an 11B or an 0311.   

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