The Swiss Army has completed tests of an advanced version of Mörser 16 120mm self-propelled mortar carrier inching closer to its delivery.
Trials of the 120mm Type 16 mortar were organized in March 2020 at the Bière Garrison to test its tactical capabilities.
"Safety deficiencies that had prevented the troop from firing it during the past year have been identified and rectified by industry. The mortar has now been successfully engaged in live fire exercises. The criteria for fitness for use by the troop are met, and the system can henceforth be used by the Army," Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport said in a statement Friday.
A contract to kickstart serial production of the new mortars will be signed soon, the department said.
Swiss company RUAG was awarded nearly $400 million (404 million Swiss francs) to supply 32 Mörser 16 self-propelled mortar systems and 12 special vehicles to the Army in January 2016. The 120-mm automated mortar system will be mounted on the chassis of the Piranha 8×8 armored personnel carriers built by GDELS-Mowag.
The basis of the system is muzzle-loading smooth-bore 120-mm mortar. 1600 cm barrel suspended on hydropneumatic anti-drift devices and connected to the guidance system (there is a version with a 2-meter barrel).
The mortar system weighs 1350 kg with the loading mechanism or 1200 kg without it. The recoil force is 30 tons in 30 milliseconds. Mortar can use any existing 120mm rounds. Shooting range up to 7 km, depending on the type of mine (long barrel up to 9 km).