Artillery: M326 120mm Mortar Stowage System


October 26, 2007: A British firm (BAE) has come up with a simple method of turning a hummer, trailer or any other kind of truck, into a 120mm mortar carrier. The M326 120mm Mortar Stowage System is basically a hydraulic arm, that takes the ready-to-fire mortar out of the truck bed, and to the ground, in less than 20 seconds. It takes less than a minute to load the mortar back into the vehicle and be on your way. The systems cost $24,000 each, and the U.S. Army is ordering 588 of them.

Previously, if you wanted a 120mm mortar that was ready to fire on short notice, you usually mounted the mortar in a reinforced (to take the recoil) armored personnel carrier. Trucks are less able to take that kind of punishment. Normally, trucks are used to carry around 120mm mortars, but it is not easy to get the mortar out of these vehicles in a hurry. It takes several minutes, at least, to manually unload a 120mm mortar from a truck and set it up. The tube weighs 110 pounds, the baseplate 136 pounds and the bipod 70 pounds. The Mortar Stowage System is a lot cheaper, and flexible, than a self-propelled system, and enables you to move mortars around a lot more quickly on roads, and still have instant fire.


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