An Overview of the Mortar Systems Market

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The most commonly operated towed or hand-held indirect fire mortar calibres are 60mm, 81mm and 120mm, but others, such as 82mm and 107mm are also in use. There are over 100,000 towed/hand-held and self-propelled (SP) mortars in use worldwide. Of these, around 5,000 are SP systems. Asia-Pacific countries hold 34% of the world’s towed/hand-held mortars, while Europe has 17% and Russia & the CIS countries operate 16% (Russia 14% on its own). Europe dominates in SP mortars, with 67% of the world total.

Although 81mm self-propelled (SP) mortar systems are still operated by some countries, including the U.K., there has been a trend towards the larger 120mm SP systems, which have a longer range and generally more effective ammunition. However, inversely, there is also a growing shift away from the use of 120mm due to rules of engagement restrictions imposed on using the calibre, whereby mortar crews must go through various chains of command for approval to fire, often delaying or dismissing action. Teams operating 60mm and 81mm are more autonomous. Traditional High Explosive (HE), Illumination and Smoke ammunition is still widely used, but new HE variants and Insensitive Munitions (IM) are being introduced.

The following data is designed to provide an overview of the major market developments in the mortar systems field. It is not intended to provide an exhaustive account of all procurement and acquisition programmes but rather to outline the latest progress of interest to those involved in this domain.

Defence IQ is delighted to announce the return of the annual Future Mortar Systems conference. Building on the success of previous events in the series, the 2014 conference will provide a detailed insight into the front line experiences of mortar crews from a host of nations, coupled with a strategic and long-term viewpoint from senior military personnel.