Sep 16, 2011
Defence firm launches new mortar, howitzer displays greater accuracyBack
Denel|Denel Land Systems|General Dynamics Land Systems|United States|External Devices|Industrial|Owned Subsidiary|Serial Communications Port Adapter|Turret Systems|PDA|Northern Cape|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
Other News This Week News
Updated 8 minutes ago South African stocks were led lower by top tier mining stocks on Tuesday as global gold prices slumped by more than two percent on US dollar strength. AngloGold Ashanti was the biggest loser in the blue chips index, tumbling 3.78% at R184.25, its biggest percentage...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
South African antenna designer and producer Poynting and provider of professional products, system integration and implementation and commissioning services for the broadcast and telecommunications markets in South Africa, African Union Communications (Aucom),...
Industrial automation giant Festo has been displaying some of the its ongoing research projects and latest automation developments and products at the Hannover industrial fair from April 7 to 11, as part of its Integrated Automation – The Next Steps theme. The...
South African retail companies are responding to the way in which e-commerce is changing their engagement model with customers by improving customer engagement channels and order fulfilment intelligence, says industrial and retail software company JDA Europe, Middle...
In support of the South African government’s mandate to create more jobs and promote sustainable development, multilevel marketing company Amway’ business model aims to assist government in easing the startup of business and encourage an entrepreneurial mindset...
The global energy outlook is that energy demand will double by 2050 and the world’s population will grow to nine-billion, creating a need for increased energy supply with reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.