120mm mortar with internal forged barrel adopted in Ukraine

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KYIV, ($1=28.61 Ukrainian Hryvnia) — The domestic 120-mm mortar MP-120 was adopted by the Armed Forces of Ukraine [AFU], learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing the ArmyInform news agency of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, and mil.in.ua. The decision was made “taking into account the positive results of state tests and to provide the Armed Forces of Ukraine with artillery.”

Photo credit: Mil.in.ua

According to the order of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine of January 25, 2022, № 26 mortars of 120 mm MP-120 caliber were adopted by the Ukrainian army. This was preceded by a state test lasting one and a half years, in which, as it is stated, a full shot of the barrel resource was made – more than 5,000 shots.

On the guaranteed resource in 5000 shots the wear of the barrel is not more than 0.2 mm, the maximum, according to current regulations, is 0.4 mm. The manufacturer said that the survivability of the barrel was increased due to a new manufacturing technology: it is forged from the inside and sealed.

BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that during the development and then during the tests, MP-120 suffered some failures, especially with the springs of the safety mechanisms. In order not to affect the rate of fire, mortar calculations often remove these safeguards, which sooner or later inevitably leads to the throwing of a second mine in the barrel before the previous one is fired, and as a result – rupture of the barrel, death of staff.

To prevent this, the new MP-120 mortar has implemented several design solutions aimed at ensuring reliable operation of springs and limiters of safety mechanisms, the main exclusion of all factors that previously led to their damage.

Ballistic characteristics of the barrel remained the same as the Soviet counterpart – the maximum firing range is 7100 meters.

Mortar developer and manufacturer is a private enterprise of Ukrainian Armored Vehicles LLC. In addition to the production of armored vehicles since 2016, the company manufactures a line of mortars.

Also, this barrel has a double margin of safety at the maximum pressure of powder gases, which allows the use of promising mortar shots of high power and firing range.

M120-15 Hammer

This is not the first development of a 120-mm mortar of the Ukrainian defense-industrial complex. The most famous is the M120-15 Hammer mortar developed and manufactured by the Mayak plant. M120-15 Hammer is already in the service of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and has several claims to the design from the military.

Photo credsit: Mil.in.ua

According to Alexander Gordeev, Deputy General Director for Production, Chief Designer of Zavod Mayak AD, the 120 mm Hammer mortar has been significantly improved in the company.

M120-15 Hammer has a maximum firing range of 7,100 m and a minimum firing range of 480 m. It can fire 15 shells per minute at an angle of 45 ° to 80 °. It takes 3 minutes to transform a mortar from a derivative into a combat position and vice versa. The weight of the mortar in combat position is not more than 230 kg, and the artillery personnel who shoot with it consist of five soldiers.

In 2019, a 120 mm mortar “Bucharda” from PJSC “Starokramatorsk Machine-Building Plant” was also presented, mil.in.ua said.

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