Artillery: August 15, 2001
Slovakia's ZTS company is marketing three new mortars.
@ The first is an 81mm mortar designed to help former Pact countries convert to NATO standards. It is basically a Soviet-design mortar which uses NATO ammunition. Maximum range is 7,000m; minimum range is 300m. It fires a 4.56kg high explosive shell (with 0.75kg of RDX explosive) using six clip-on charge increments plus a super-charge. Rate of fire is 15-20 rounds for one minute. The complete mortar weighs 121.5kg.
@ The second is a 98mm mortar, a caliber not normally seen but designed to stay outside of the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty (which tracked weapons of 100mm or more). It has two wheels for towing and can fire a shell to 8,000 meters. It can fire 15-20 rounds in one minute. The high explosive shells weigh 8.40kg and carry 1.6kg of explosive.
@ The third new type is the PRAM-S, a self-propelled 120mm mortar built on a stretched BMP-2 chassis (with a seventh road wheel). Only a dozen PRAM-Ss were built, and six of them are now with the Slovak Army (the other six are with the Czech Army). The Slovaks want to build more for export. The weapon has a maximum range of 8,036 meters and a minimum range of 504 meters. It carries 80 rounds (21 of these in the loading system, the rest in storage) and can fire 40 rounds in 5 minutes.--Stephen V Cole