BERLIN, ($1=0.88 Euros) – The German army is starting to modernize its 120mm mortars to a level that will allow them to fire with next-generation mortar shells, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing a press release from Rheinmetall.
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The contract between the company and the German government has already been signed and is worth 27 million euros. Rheinmetall will also have to supply 120mm mortar ammunition as part of a deal with the government. The implementation of the contract is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
The German army’s 120mm mortars are currently firing mortars of various calibers. However, the modernization will allow them to raise the level of ammunition used. The modernization itself requires precise work on the integration of obturation rings to the cannon and mortar tubes. Part of the work is done, say Rheinmetall, as they have already delivered to the German army DM75 NG mortar and DM56 NG mortar shells, which have integrated infrared lighting.
Rheinmetall has a strong tradition in both the development of mortars and the production of ammunition of various calibers – 120 mm, 81 mm, and 60 mm. One of Rheinmetall’s latest developments for the Norwegian army is the Ragnarok mortar.
Ragnarok is a 120 mm mortar that can use new 18 and 23-liter powder mortar shells, as well as new ammunition type RDM [VLAP] and RWM. Ragnarok can be charged in two ways – electrically and manually.
Rheinmetall mortars can be used and integrated with several ways. From their use as an integrated system in a 4×4 vehicle to a classic two-legged mortar and bearing. The range may also be different. Ragnarok, for example, can hit targets at eight kilometers at a speed of 16 to 20 shots per minute.
New 120mm mortar shells
In addition to upgrading its 120mm mortars, Rheinmetall will also have to offer 120mm mortar shells. However, the company has been developing a brand new family of 120mm mortar shells for years, starting almost from scratch.
Rheinmetall has been able to develop non-explosive [IHE], smoke / dark, and lighting cartridges, including a 120mm projectile. According to information from Rheinmetall, the new mortar shells have a greater effect on shrapnel and under certain conditions penetrate STANAG 4536 reinforced concrete.
The 120mm infrared illumination round has a strong illumination of the battlefield – from 0.7 and 1.2 μm for a time of about 45 seconds at a descent speed <6m / s. This type of mortar projectile is based on the propellant powder Nitrochemie El. Ie proven temperature stability and energy content.
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