60mm mortarThe Marine Corps is sending a new 60mm mortar sight, sling and heat shield to units deployed to Afghanistan.

Called the Fire Control Unit, the Office of Naval Research sent out six prototypes of the mortar sight that attaches to the weapon’s upper barrel. A Marine chief warrant officer made the request to ONR in hopes of improving accuracy.

One assistant mortar instructor said it’s especially valuable at night.

“The nighttime capability is awesome, I mean awesome,” assistant mortars instructor Sgt. Garrett Dennard said in the statement. “At night, by the second round, I trusted it 100 percent.”

ONR officials also worked on a solution to make it easier to transport the mortar by developing a sling and heat shield that protects a Marine’s hands. The has a lightweight mount to eliminate the “loud clanging that the old mount made when it banged against the weapon in transit, which could give away a Marine’s position,” according to a Marine statement.

“The new sling and sight overall are really important additions to the weapon,” Dennard said in a statement.

ONR’s TechSolutions worked with  L3 Insight Technologies to build the sight and Tactical Assault Gear Industries to build the sling and heat shield.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Garz November 7, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Wow. What a great setup. I wish i had that when i was in. I can see that sight getting beat to hell though.

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Matt November 7, 2013 at 6:55 pm

This is an excellent direction to go with this mortar system. Now imagine a 60mm that you can program a GPS coordinate into and launch? Or paint a target with a laser and launch a string of mortar rounds designed to hit wherever that laser is pointing at.

The point of all of it is to make the mortar system into a precision killing machine where every round can be accounted for and land exactly where you want it. Mortar men and the squads/ platoons they provide fire support too will appreciate that. And everyone will appreciate the fact that the mortar rounds they are carrying in their pack will have a high probability of hitting their mark–which would mean carrying less.

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Recon Man November 8, 2013 at 4:27 am

This is great news. in the midst of the big boys and girls whinging about losing their ray guns and absurdly priced ships and planes, someone continues to put out meaningful solutions to the problems faced by the grunts. This makes me proud of our Defense R&D and Acquisition folks. The Marine Corps always seems to find a way around the bureaucrats to fund meaningful, pragmatic solutions.

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Virgil_Hilts November 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Recon Man…you WROTE: "The Marine Corps always seems to find a way around the bureaucrats to fund meaningful, pragmatic solutions."

This phrase immediately jumps to mind: "Improvise, Adapt, Overcome."

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Lance November 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I think its a great little set up. Always train for both this laser sight and use the old school eyes option never know if it brakes in combat.

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Bravo Tango November 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Any time you give the guys on the ground a better way to get the job done, the better they do and the less they suffer. This is obviously a low cost effective solution to problems that are identified by the grunts on the ground. It is great the someone listens and responds in a way that makes sense to the end user

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NeoConVet November 11, 2013 at 11:23 am

I still have a vivid memory of a VN Ranger 60mm Mortar team as we ran across a dry rice paddy toward a wood line from which we had taken fire. Using an old helmet for a base plate and a do-rag wrapped around the upper barrel pausing to drop the tube into the beat up helmet, dead-eye aiming and popping off an HE round. The gunner quickly seizing the 60mm the assistant grabbing the helmet and pulling out the next round for a repeat in about 30 yards.

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81's 1966 November 13, 2013 at 10:18 am

what about the 81's

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