Sep 16, 2011
Defence firm launches new mortar, howitzer displays greater accuracyBack
Port|Defence|Denel|Denel Land Systems|Fire|General Dynamics Land Systems|Industrial|Safety|System|Systems|United States|Equipment|External Devices|Industrial|Logistics|Owned Subsidiary|Product|Products|Serial Communications Port Adapter|Systems|Turret Systems|PDA|Northern Cape|Bearing|C-130 Hercules|GPS|Laser|PDA|Personal Digital Assistant
© Reuse this
The product is a complete system, comprising the mortar itself; long range mortar bombs; a mortar weapon fire control computer (MFCC); an observation post (OP) with a laser range finder (LRF) fitted with an integral magnetic compass and coupled to an OP MFCC; a mobile command post (CP), also equipped with an LRF and a CP MFCC; technical support equipment, including special tools, carry harnesses and first line spares; logistics; and training equipment (including a simulator).
The new mortar system is light, can enter action more rapidly, can bring a large area under fire, engage previously calculated targets, undertake both line and point bombardments and carry out coordinated illumination missions. The system also increases the mortar team’s situational awareness, displays safety limits (including the location of friendly forces), undertakes ballistics calculations and can provide navi- gational data.
Central to the operation of the system is a personal digital assistant (PDA), which has an in-built global positioning system. The weapon, the OP and CP MFCCs all use the same PDA, which is fitted with a serial communications port adapter to interface with external devices. The soldier can select whatever role within the system he requires the PDA to fulfil.
In action, the OP would use an LRF to acquire the target, ascertain the bearing (magnetic declination is automatically allowed for) and, after fire has been opened, to correct it. The OP also establishes a target list. The fire mission is approved and usually controlled from the CP, although the CP can transfer control to the OP, if needed.
Once the fire mission has been approved, it only takes seconds for the target data to be converted into settings on the mortar’s sights and in the MFCC. This reduces reac- tion time and creates a high probability of hitting the target with the first or second bomb fired. Several targets can be engaged in rapid succession, even if different types of bomb are employed.
DLS manufactures mortar, artillery and turret systems, among other products, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the State-owned Denel defence industrial group.
Early last month, the Denel group announced that the latest version of the Stryker Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) III 105-mm-calibre Light Self-Propelled Howitzer (LSPH) had achieved exceptional accuracy in firing trials at the Alkantpan test range, in the Northern Cape. Error margins of only 0.3% were achieved consistently at maximum range.
The accuracy is such that the weapon can directly fire three shells through the same hole at a range of 1 km. Its maximum range is 30 km. Denel reports that this combination of range and accuracy is the result of developing the gun/ howitzer, projectiles and charges together as an integrated system.
The LSPH is a joint programme between DLS, which is responsible for the gun/ howitzer and its turret, US defence company General Dynamics Land Systems, which provides the Stryker LAV III 8 × 8 vehicle, and Rheinmetall Denel Munitions, which is responsible for the projectiles and charges and which is 49%-owned by the Denel group.
The latest version of the LSPH can be directly operated by a crew instead of being remotely fired. The vehicle has a crew of three – the commander/gunner, loader and driver.
The entire system, complete with 36 shells, weighs 18 200 kg and is transportable on a C-130 Hercules aircraft. It has aroused significant international interest since the original concept was unveiled in 2000. The gun/howitzer and its turret are also compatible with the South African Army’s new Badger infantry fighting vehicles.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other News This Week News
Article contains comments
Updated 12 minutes ago JSE-listed Afrox on Friday announced cost reduction plans to improve its financial position following a decline in profit and earnings during the six months ended June 30. A “challenging trading environment” led to a 4.5% fall in profit to R169-million and a 10.2%...
Updated 31 minutes ago The deficit on South Africa's trade account widened sharply to R21.33-billion ($1.9-billion) in October, from a revised R3.04-billion shortfall in September, data from the revenue service showed on Friday. Exports fell 1.8% to 89-billion rand, while imports jumped...
Updated 35 minutes ago In a move likely to hearten Gauteng commuters who spend rush hour stuck behind big trucks, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters on Friday said her department was looking at restricting heavy vehicles during these times. "The department is considering some form of...
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
As the City of Ekurhuleni continues its bid to develop the largely industrialised metropole into the continent’s first aerotropolis, executive mayor Mondli Gungubele has committed the city to creating a predictable, stable and enabling business environment in which...
While Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) did not have “significant issues” with power supply in Gauteng, it was a different story in the Eastern Cape, said FMCSA and American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa president Jeff Nemeth earlier this month....
In 2000, exports into Africa from South Africa represented less than 5% of the turnover of Federal Mogul Motorparts Africa, with sales largely centred around Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. Today, African exports represent 30% of sales, with trade expanded...
The Malawi government has launched a $50-million project to upgrade the Kamuzu barrage, on the Shire river, an outlet of Lake Malawi, which is used to control the flow of water from the lake to the lower Shire area. The project will run from this year to 2017 and...
Our new Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges will replace the Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges which have served us for the past twenty years. The buildings will be the same and most of the staff will be the same but as the...