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.

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