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AI and disruptive technologies: The U.S. Army's future mortar system

Defence IQ had the opportunity to discuss with Mr Ross Arnold, Senior Research Engineer, U.S. Army CCDC, a key speaker of the conference, on the vision of the future mortar system in the U.S. Army.

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Key benefits of downloading the piece:

  • Gain exclusive insight into the U.S. Army’s future mortar system from Mr Arnold who will be attending this year’s Future Mortar Systems Conference
  • Learn more about what the U.S. Army is currently focusing on to develop the future mortar system
  • Understand how new technologies will be leveraged to enhance the U.S. Army’s mortar capabilities

With $5.2 billion of investment, Long-Range Precision Fires is the number one modernization priority for the U.S. Army’s Future Command, which aims at increasing ranges and lethality of its artillery capabilities. As the multi-domain theatre of operations becomes more complex and as potential adversaries develop disruptive technologies to hinder the U.S. Army and allied nations’ operations, the need to leverage new technologies to retain overmatch is crucial. 

In this piece, Mr Arnold answers the following questions:

  • Artillery is one of the six modernisation priorities of the US Army’s Futures Command. Could you share your thoughts on the vision of the future mortar system in particular?
  • How do you envision new technologies being implemented within existing and future weapons systems?
  • What impact do you foresee disruptive technologies having on the deployment of mortar systems?
  • What standards it the US Army looking to implement in future weapons systems to assist with interoperability between coalition nations from a governance and tactics point of view?

Mr Arnold will be speaking at this year’s Future Mortar Systems Conference on swarm intelligence and AI and autonomy in in mortar systems. To view the full agenda of the conference which will be chaired by Christopher Foss, Editor of Janes Artillery, please click here. If you’d prefer to have a copy sent to your inbox, please click here.

2019 programmes and requirements map

The mortar systems industry is expected to reach $ 8.7 billion by 2023, as innovations are put forward by industry and updates are being added to the existing capabilities of the Armies and Marine Corps. 

Ahead of the Future Mortar Systems Conference, Defence IQ compiled a map outlining ongoing programmes and key requirements in the mortar systems space, from countries that will attend this year’s event.

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Key benefits of downloading the map:

  • Know top acquisition and upgrade priorities from countries that will be present at Future Mortar Systems
  • Develop business strategies by meeting the right people from countries having active programmes and key requirements at Future Mortar Systems  
  • Gain insights into investment trends from your peers

Download the map to learn more about the following programmes from countries that will discuss them at Future Mortar Systems, such as:

  • Spain – requirement for a new 120mm mounted mortar system in 2020
  • United States – procurement of a Future Indirect Fire Turret that is planned to be in use by 2021
  • United Kingdom – replacement of the Army’s 60mm mortar from its platoons
  • Denmark – introduction of two new systems, the French Nexter Systems CAESAR 155 mm/52 calibre self-propelled (SP) and the General Dynamics European Land Systems MOWAG Piranha 5
  • Czech Republic – acquisition of the vehicle-mounted Mjölner. 40 mortar system

These programmes will be discussed at this year’s Future Mortar Systems by a panel of sixteen senior speakers from around the globe, which will be chaired by Chris Foss. Key themes will include the mobility and flexibility of troops when transporting and operating equipment, technological innovations to ensure overmatch in peer adversary war-fighting contexts, the integration of UAVs, effectively combating time-sensitive targets, operational feedback, and command and control systems. 

To view the full agenda, please click here. If you would like to receive a copy in your inbox, you can request it here

Programme 2035 and the future artillery capabilities of the Spanish Army

In this exclusive interview, Brigadier General Luis Torcál Ortega, Commander, Field Artillery Command, Spanish Army shares insight into the current and future artillery capabilities of the Spanish Army. Conducted ahead of this year’s Future Mortar Systems Conference, this interview addresses key themes that will be discussed further by Colonel Ángel Esparza López, Commanding Officer, Lusitania Regiment, Spanish Army, a key speaker of our conference.

Download the interview on the right >>

Key benefits of downloading the interview:

  • Gain insight into the Spanish Army’s Programme 2035 
  • Learn how the Spanish Army is preparing to operate in the future operating environment
  • Learn more about how technology is impacting the Spanish Army’s artillery capabilities

Read now a preview of the interview:

DFIQ: Spain has quite an ambitious programme for recapitalisation of artillery assets in Spain and also to replace M109s with a wheeled self-propelled 155 mm system. Why a wheeled vehicle? 

LT: Well, for the command-and-control system, yes. But [for the M109 replacement] wheeled is a personal preference. Both options have their advantages. But full-tracked, self-propelled guns are very expensive to procure. They are also more expensive to maintain, and in fact, the main reason for me to support the wheeled option is that, as gunners, we don't really need full-track vehicles, because we don't fight like tanks. We don't have to follow the tracks of the tanks. Most of the time we operate on roads, and so need to have all-terrain capability, but we are not in the need of full-track capability. And that’s why I think that it’s much better and much more affordable to have a wheeled solution. 

The themes Brigadier General Luis Torcál Ortega is addressing in this interview will be elaborated by Colonel Ángel Esparza López, Commanding Officer, Lusitania Regiment, Spanish Army at this year’s Future Mortar Systems conference. To view the full agenda, please click here

Preparing for the 2030 land environment

While the focus for mortar systems was on firepower a few years ago, it is now on mobility and flexibility for the troops, and the elimination of the 120mm systems from the U.S. Marine Corps’ arsenal is only one example demonstrating this shift. 

Ahead of this year’s Future Mortar Systems conference, Defence IQ had the opportunity to discuss with Colonel Steve Fisher (Ret.), Liaison Officer at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory and Chairman of the conference. In this exclusive interview transcript, he outlines:

  • The impact of the ‘multi-domain’ concepts on future capability development and acquisition
  • The U.S. Marine Corps’ current experimentations with technology to replace the 120mm mortar systems 
  • How the changing environment will impact the use of mortar systems