Thursday, March 15, 2018

120mm Mortar is gone from the Marine Corps...

via IHS Janes
The US Marine Corps (USMC) has phased out its General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GDOTS) 120 mm Expeditionary Fire Support System (EFSS), an official revealed at the Omega Conferences & Events Mortar Systems conference held in Bristol, United Kingdom.

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Butler, Indirect Fire Capabilities Integration officer at the USMC’s Combat Development and Integration, explained that the decision to phase out the EFSS included concerns about the time required to load and unload from the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, as well as the reliability of the Internally Transported Vehicles (ITVs) which tow and transport the 120 mm mortar and its associated ammunition.

The EFSS comprises the French TDA MO 120 RT 120 mm rifled mortar which is designated the M327, a suite of ammunition, and two ITVs, plus a Light Strike Vehicle for command and control (C2) and fire-direction control (FDC).

The ITV-Prime Mover (ITV-PM) tows the mortar and its crew while the ITV-Ammunition Trailer (ITV-AT) carries the 120 mm projectiles, charges, and fuzes, with 36 rounds typically carried.

Lt Col Butler noted that the remaining stock of 120 mm ammunition cannot be passed to the US Army as it operates smoothbore mortars. He added that the EFSS will be assigned to the USMC’s Basic School to provide training in call for fire/fire-support applications until the ammunition stockpile is expended.

The USMC also fields 60 mm and 81 mm mortars at the rifle company and battalion levels respectively, as well as the BAE Systems 155 mm/39 calibre M777A2 lightweight towed howitzers (LTH) which replaced the heaver 155 mm/39 calibre M198. A total of 478 M777A2 LTHs have been acquired, with 370 operational guns and 108 kept in reserve.
Most of the time I either cheer or bitch and whine about a decision.

On this one I'm at a loss.

Does anyone know the rationale behind this?  What are they thinking?  Is it simply a cost cutting move, they decided that this was ineffective or that it duplicated what we have with the 155?

I just don't know but sure wonder....

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