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Subject: 120mm mortar or 105mm arty?
Goknub    9/26/2002 12:04:33 AM
Thinking out loud, should Australia ditch the 105s and rely on 120mm mortars instead? For long range work the 155mm arty is best and for shorter distances the lighter weight of the 120mm would be an advantage over the 105s.
 
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Matt Smith    RE:120mm mortar or 105mm arty?   9/26/2002 12:44:01 AM
The only contingency here I could think of is direct fire support in close terrain. As this role could be fulfilled by helicopter gunships or man-portable rocket launchers it probably isn't that big a deal.
 
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macawman    RE:120mm mortar or 105mm arty?   11/2/2002 11:10:17 PM
I was reading the first hand report on the Afgan Anaconda operation. The lone 120mm mortar team did an admireable job of stoping al Queda from overrunning their position while under fire from above. CAS nearly got them all killed both helo and fixed wing. In there situation a 105 bty could not have been deployed. In the mountains having indirect fire heavy weapons support on hand is crucial with every man carrying a 120mm round. The 120mm mortar is just a more versital weapon in close defense. Its shortcoming in this situation was that its position was too open to small arms fire.
 
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Hogwood    RE:120mm mortar or 105mm arty?   11/9/2002 6:28:20 AM
Both the 120mm Mortar & the 105mm are a little short on range. I hope the Ausi's. 105's arn't split tails. How dose that 120 stack up aginst the four duce base plates. I prefured the howtar. That's a 4.2" mortar mounted on a 75pak how. carrage. When involved in non FEBA opps. Enamy close in reverse slope mortars can rip a 105 battery up. An attached 4.2 Plt. is a good thing. There Illumination is better too. U.S Marines are getting rid of the M-198 for a light weight 155. I hope it dosen't bounce around too much. This is my sounding out posting at this site. Have any of you thought about an eight gun battery to support a four company inf. Bn. They split good that way.What say yual?
 
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fsnco    RE:120mm mortar or 105mm arty?   11/15/2002 7:59:23 AM
Having served as both a 120mm mortar plt sgt and my current duty position of fire support sgt. I can say that both sytems have their role.The mortar is best for high defilade targets and quick volume of fire.The trade off is slightly less efective HE shells. The 105mm howitzer is a good light gun capable of working in rough country but it logistcal trail is larger than the mortar on a piece by piece basis. Bottom line in my view is you need both the mortar will generally be a faster responding fire support provider with tube artillery taking targets that cannot be effectively engaged with the mortar system.
 
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macawman    RE:120mm mortar or 105mm arty?   11/16/2002 10:39:13 PM
Aussiegunner; From the map of the terrain and the report, the infantry element was landed in a small valley sheer slopes. The floor of the valley was too narrow for a 105 to elevate its gun. I do not know if 10th Mountain or the 101st Div. brought 105s into Afganistan. I recall that in the Falklands the hills around Stanley were shallow and rolling rock ridge lines. Correct me if I am wrong.
 
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highground    RE:120mm mortar or 105mm arty?   11/16/2002 11:41:15 PM
According to the Army Times, 8 July 2002, p 12 and 29 July 2002, p 10, the 10th Mountain and the 101st divisions did not deploy their 105 batteries. However, the 82nd Airborne's 3rd Brigade did take part, but not all of their 105's.
 
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fsnco    RE:120mm mortar or 105mm arty?   11/18/2002 6:15:06 AM
Your BC was correct artillery units have organic survey sections that are used to accurately place the gun batteries. The mortars use a combination of map spotting and preferably GPS if they cannot get survey support from an available FA unit.Never happened in my experiance. Using the GPS enables them a good location for the guns a key componenet of accuarte fire, artillery units also have this capability. One of the differences of response time is that the mortars generally belong to the base combat force Ie infantry armor cav ect and they are controlled by them allowing them to respond to requests for fire quicker just one less level of command involved. This can change based of task orginization and fire support relationships. In term of accuracy of fires both can be very accurate with tube artillery generally better. Higher angle that mortars fire at leave them more venereble to weather factors. They are generally a simpler weapon system that allows them a good volume of fire with a quick reload and refire. The down side of them is ammo capacity depends on parent orginization logistical train. Like I said both have their place and are capable systems. Tube artillery is the preferred long range system, mortar quick reponse close battle support.
 
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fsnco    RE:120mm mortar or 105mm arty?   11/18/2002 7:12:28 AM
No real difference other than clearance of fires the mortars belong to the infantry and generally answer only to them.The artillery can have both direct relationship to a infantry unit as well as missions from higher artillery headquarters.As the FIST chief for an infantry unit I control the fires for both their organic mortars as well as assigned supporting artillery. It is incumbent on me and my team to best use what fire support assets I have available to support the infantry.
 
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Hogwood    RE:120mm mortar or 105mm arty?   12/5/2002 9:55:08 PM
Basicly I beleave the 105 to be a historical artifact. I was a 105 batteryman in Vietnam and liked that M-101a1. however a few years after that war the USMC was forced to heavy up to the M-198's because of our NATO requirments. That heavying up had a rippel effect throughout the logistics system. It was the primary reason for the CH-53E coming into existance. I have never heard an infantryman say he prefured the splash of a 105 over a 155 even if the 105 is three times faster. The 105 how, four duce mortar, and 106mm recoilus are all 105mm bores. They were given those names to keep confusion between the systems to minimum. I'M by no means an expert. I operated these things before the GPS system came around. The GPS sytem is great. It's spot on when it comes to where a gun is placed. How does it do with the fireing pieces elivation. I saw a lot of bad numbers on maps when it came to hill tops. I saw a lot of confusion at times between artillery, air opps (choppers), and direct air (fixed wing) suport. Often times these controlers were sitting in the same CIC knowing what the problum was and still couldn't get things moving. That's when things needed to be turned over to the advancing units comander and his groupe. The only outside control at that point was that the advancing unit wasn't assaulting into friendly units. This aspect was handeld by Fire support control center FSCC. My service prefured its rounds idealy dropping onto the target as verticaly as posible. It created a better splash was their reasoning. I understand their thinking but all those deferent MET factors had to be a nightmare for the FDC. Too mny variables. This reasoning was because they figured we would be hitting the beach at Tarawaw or Iwo Jima. That's not going to happen. Future requirments require thinking outside the box. Those old control orginazations will serve as a good foundation in considerations of future requirments. Things are going to change. The winners will recognize things that arn't required and replace them with faster responce time items that get rounds on the target. This will require getting outside the box. How do other countrys do things? How are they orginized and why? Know your enamy.
 
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Maple Leaf    RE:120mm mortar or 105mm arty?   4/18/2003 1:55:07 PM
Does anyone think that there is a possibility of mounting a 105mm howitzer on a LAV-III or MTVL (M113A4) chassis for the medium forces? Has anyone seen the proposed LAV-155mm LSPH designed by the British? It is yet to be developed. It is still in the digital phase. A prototype is supposed to be ready this year I believe. I saw it on a British military show on TV and on the website of the company developing it. I can't remember the site though. It was a 155mm howitzer that was externally mounted on the rear and fires to the rear and having an auto-loader in the former crew compartment and a crew of three. It was fully digitalized. I wondered if a 105mm version would be cheaper, faster and more mobile. Just wondering.
 
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