The Swiss Army has wrapped up trials of the Mörser 16 self-propelled mortar, paving the way for the country’s defense procurement agency armasuisse to award a serial production contract.
The system, comprising the RUAG MRO Cobra 120 mm (12 cm) mortar system on a Piranha 8×8 wheeled armored vehicle, was tested at the Bière weapon range in March this year. The tests took place after contractors rectified safety issues that stood in the way of a live-firing test. The issues were identified last year.
According to armasuisse, the system is now expected to be fielded in 2024.
The procurement of a total of 32 mortar systems (carrier vehicles and mortars) was approved in 2016. Also included were 12 trucks, ammunition, and the adaptation of 16 existing command vehicles.
The Piranha 3+ carrier vehicles that are being acquired have a payload of up to 10 tons, dedicated seating for a crew of three (driver, gunner and vehicle commander) and nine infantry soldiers. The vehicles have a modular protection system and can be equipped with an amphibious drive to operate as marine infantry vehicles.
The mortar system itself is developed by RUAG and has a range of 7,000 to 9,000 meters. One of the main features of the system is that it uses an electric drive to ensure both the accuracy and the speed of the system. According to RUAG, ballistic computing enables multiple rounds simultaneous impact firing.