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LePzMrs 120 mm

120-mm mortar carrier

Wiesel 2 mortar

The Leichter PanzerMorser 120 mm is a German mortar carrier, based on the Wiesel 2

 
 
Entered service 2011 (?)
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 4.78 t
Length 4.78 m
Width 1.87 m
Height ~ 2.11 m
Armament
Main gun 120-mm mortar
Machine guns 1 x 7.62-mm
Projectile weight ?
Maximum firing range 6 km
Maximum rate of fire 6 rpm
Ammunition load
Main gun 27 rounds
Machine guns ?
Mobility
Engine Volkswagen diesel
Engine power 109 hp
Maximum road speed 70 km/h
Range 286 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 40%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.4 m
Trench 1.5 m
Fording 0.5 m

 

   A Wiesel 2 family of airportable armored vehicles has been developed by MaK Systems(now Rheinmetall). Various versions of this multi-purpose armored vehicle are in service with the German army. There is also a variant of the Wiesel 2, configured as a self-propelled 120-mm mortar. The first prototype of mortar carrier was completed in 1997. In 2002 German MoD awarded a contract to Rheinmetall to supply two mortar carriers for trials and evaluation. These were delivered in 2004. In 2005 these two mortar carrier were tested in USA for hot weather trials and in Sweden for cold weather trials. In 2009 the German MoD awarded a production contract for 8 units. It is understood that these vehicles were delivered by 2011. As of 2015 German Army ordered a total of 20 of these self-propelled mortars. German army designation for this mortar carrier is Leichter PanzerMorser 120 mm or LePzMrs 120 mm for short. It seems that this mortar carrier has seen service in Afghanistan. The Wiesel 2 mortar carrier has never been exported. Possibly because other countries have no requirement for this class of unique airportable vehicles.

   This artillery system is fitted with a 120-mm mortar. It has an automatic gun laying system. The mortar is loaded manually by the gunner. When being loaded the 120-mm mortar is lowered into horizontal position. Then it automatically returns to its designated firing position. The LePzMrs fires standard 120-mm mortar ammunition, including high-explosive, smoke and illumination rounds. It is also compatible with guided ammunition, such as the Stryx smart rounds. Maximum range of fire is up to 6 000 m. A total of 27 rounds are carrier, including 25 ordinary rounds and 2 guided rounds. Maximum rate of fire is 6 rounds per minute. Such rate of fire can be sustained for 3 minutes.

   This mortar carrier is also armed with a roof-mounted 7.62-mm machine gun for self-defense.

   The Wiesel 2 mortar has an advanced fire control system. It allows to carry out autonomous fire missions.

   Vehicle has a welded steel hull. However armor of this mortar carrier is thin and it offers rather limited protection. Armor protects the crew only from small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. Vehicle is fitted with NBC protection system. Furthermore the whole loading process of the mortar is carried under complete NBC protection.

   Two stabilizing jacks at the rear are lowered to the ground before firing. It is worth noting that the LePzMrs 120 mm can be brought into action much quicker than standard towed mortar. It can open fire within 60 second from travelling. Also it can briefly leave the firing position in order to avoid counter-battery fire.

   This mortar carrier has a crew of three, including commander, loader and driver.

   Chassis of the LePzMrs 120 mm is almost identical to that of the Wiesel 2. Vehicle is powered by an Volkswagen 1.9-liter turbocharged diesel engine, developing 109 horsepower. It is mated to ZF automatic transmission. Engine and transmission can be replaced in field conditions within 15 minutes. Vehicle has good cross-country mobility due to its low weight, tracked configuration and consequently low ground pressure. It seems that flotation kit can be fitted to cross water obstacles.

   The vehicle is fully airportable internally by a CH-53 helicopter. It can be also carried underslung by this helicopter. It is worth noting that CH-53G helicopters are widely used in the German army. The Wiesel 2 mortar carrier can be also airlifted by military transport aircraft.

   Typical German army unit of the LePzMrs consist of two mortar platoons, each with 4 mortar carriers, plus command post vehicle based on Mungo 4x4 airborne armored vehicle and fire control centre. Target information is received from a forward observation officer. If required each mortar carrier can operate autonomously.

 

 
Wiesel 2 mortar

Wiesel 2 mortar

Wiesel 2 mortar

Wiesel 2 mortar

Wiesel 2 mortar


 
Wiesel 2 mortar

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