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Frag Out! Magazine #26

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Page 19 of 159

Types of ammunition remains similar in case of both platforms. The Swedes have a great Strix precision guided round (that needs to be programmed prior to firing). The Rak mortar may fire the laser-guided APR120 round. Despite the guidance system's limitations, the round may be fired in a direct setting and it fits in the autoloader system. The 120 mm HE rounds are comparable, capabilities- and range-wise. Rak carries twice as many rounds in the turret than the Amos does. Total quantity of rounds available depends on the carrier on which the turret is placed. Realistically then, both designs are similar when it comes to their fire control systems, protection levels and firepower. The Polish de- sign exhibits a bit better direct (straight on) fire capabilities. Mean- while, Amos has higher rate of fire. However, this had a price - the Scandinavian design is much more complex and expensive. Nemo, meanwhile, is an example of a fully autonomous 120 mm mortar system that is manned by a gunner and two loaders. It is as old as Amos. Nemo may act as a lighter platform that could complement the Amos's capabilities. Its turret is light - it weighs only 1.5 tons. The whole system may be integrated as a containerized unit. Direct fire capabilities, however, are greatly limited. Maximum rate of fire, as per manufacturer's declaration, is 10 RPM. Realistically we are speaking of 6 RPM. Fire control system and ammunition are very much analo- gous to those applicable to Amos. Mjølner was designed as a low-cost alternative for the Amos sys- tem, with muzzle loading mortar. It was a Millennial design developed over the course of the very same development program. Due to the budgetary cuts Sweden came back to the project and in 2016 FMV ordered 40 Grkpbv90 self-propelled mortars based on the CV90 IFV fitted with a new BAE Systems turret. Mjølner is a vehicle that features none of the avantgarde solutions associated with the Amos platform. Fire control unit is simplified; thus, it takes more than a minute before the vehicle is ready to fire. The ability to attack targets directly is virtually non-existent. The plat- form does not feature any advanced night sights or smoke grenade dispensers. The turret moves only 30 degrees to both sides, while the mortar barrels move 45-85 degrees. Loading system is also quite cu- rious - both barrels are manually loaded, where each of the loaders takes the round from the turret shelf, placing it on the first transporter unit and then pushes the round by hand to the second position in a form of a loading tube. Then the loader needs to grip the second lever and make a similar move with extra movement of the lever to the side, so that the round moves from the tube to the barrel. Then the empty mechanism is folded away over the course of an identical movement that takes place in reverse direction. The process is sadistic, to say the least. It makes it possible to attain theoretical rate of fire of 8 RPM from a single barrel. However, when the loader is tired, after a few weeks on the battlefield (with increased levels of radiation taken out of the equation), the rate of fire above is unattainable. Realistically we are speaking of rates of 3 RPM (6 in total) per minute. Mjølner also has some minor advantages - it carries 56 rounds in the turret and up to 48 extra rounds in the hull (!). Grkpbv90 is a budget solution that has no advantages over Rak, apart from the illusory high rate of fire and high quantity of rounds stored in the turret. Is the grass really greener on the other side? The above brief comparison shows that only the Russian Vena or the Swedish-Finnish Amos system could be considered to be comparable with Rak. The growing momentum and intensity of operations impose

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