Saab to introduce new 120mm mortar round

Saab has launched a new mortar round with enhanced fragmentation characteristics.
By Richard Tomkins  |  Sept. 13, 2017 at 1:30 PM
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Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Saab has launched a new 120mm mortar round, which increases the effectiveness of round fragmentation, the company announced on Tuesday.

The round is the Thor by Saab Bofors Dynamics Switzerland and is on display at the DSEI 2017 exhibition in London.

"We are very excited to launch this new product to the market at this year's DSEI," Stephan Kocher, head of Saab Bofors Dynamics Switzerland, said in a press release. "Our MAPAM mortar round revolutionized the way infantry units approached mortar-based combat, and now, with our new THOR 120mm mortar round, we are pushing the boundaries even further."

Traditional airburst mortar rounds are fitted with a proximity fuze. Shell fragments are dispersed in nearly every direction, with half of them scattered upwards. The THOR reduces that fragment loss by as much as 20 percent, Saab said.

Thor also offers controlled safety zones to protect friendly troops and to help avoid civilian casualties.

"THOR's fragmentation provides predictable safe zones which makes your effects more foreseeable and accurate. This new mortar round will give the user a much higher chance of defeating the targets, something that normally would have required heavier support," said Christopher Leitner, head of Marketing and Sales at Saab Bofors Dynamics Switzerland.

The round was developed with a unique design that combines shapes, materials and fragmentation sizes to attain the desired effect on the target.

Saab said Thor's lethality is about 250 percent greater than that of a standard 120mm round, has a range of nearly 9,300 yards, has a cylindrical central body design to enhance its lethality effect and adaptable fragment shapes and quantities.

Thor disperses a maximum of 4,250 steel balls or fragments depending on configuration.

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