The Royal Danish Army selected the ESLAIT A3MS (Advanced Automated Autonomous Mortar System) for installation on its Piranha 5 8×8 armour personal carriers manufactured by General Dynamics European Land Systems – Mowag (GDELS-Mowag). Denmark’s Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO) signed a USD15.3 million contract with Austrian company ESL Advanced Information Technology (ESLAIT) on 2017 for the delivery of 15 automatic floormounted 120 mm heavy mortar systems (with an option for an additional six systems at the contract price). The contract, which was announced on 22 May, includes a 30-year sustainment agreement. New 120 mm ammunition is expected to be procured, with Phase 1 including a new HE, HE fragmentation, smoke, and illuminating (white and infra-red) rounds. In the longer-term, three new precision, near-precision, and anti-armour rounds are also expected to be procured. The Royal Danish Army plans to deploy three platoons each of four 120 mm SP mortar systems, and one per bataillon will also have a Piranha 5 8×8 command post and two 8×8 ammunition supply vehicles.
The A3MS system comprises a 120 mm CARDOM 10 smoothbore mortar from Israel’s Elbit Systems fitted with recoil absorbers. The contract also includes the delivery of fire control and battle management systems, fire coordination modules, ammunition racks, initial stocks of spare parts, and the necessary technical support to integrate the weapon system onto the Piranha 5 mortar carrier variant. The A3MS system can traverse a full 360 degrees, while elevation can be adjusted from 45-84 degrees. Like the Danish Army CAESAR, the Cardom 10 will be linked to the Danish Army’s Thor FCS, with information coming from the forward observer to the battailon joint fire cell (JFC) module and then onto the actual weapon. In the case of CAESAR, it will also link with the brigade JFC. The Cardom 10 has an Interface between the Thor gun module and the Cardom FCS mounted on the left side of the weapon, and target Information can also flow from the forward observer direct to the firing platform. The digitised FCS of both platforms is compatible with NATO Artillery Systems Cooperation Activities (ASCA), which includes artillery and multiple rocket launchers.
The Piranha 5 8×8 8×8 armour personal carriers has a raised roof line to the rear of the driver’s and commander’s position on the left side, with the 120 mm mortar firing through two roof hatches that are opened left and right prior to engaging a target. The Cardom 10 120 mm smoothbore mortar is installed on a turntable mount to allow for rapid traverse through a full 6,400 mils onto the target. When travelling, the barrel is lowered to make the platform more difficult to detect. Mounted under the 120 mm smooth bore mortar is a Danish Weibul muzzle velocity radar that feeds Information to the FCS. The latest Cardom 10 is fitted with a load-assist device to reduce crew fatigue and increase rate of fire. The 120 mm mortar bomb is placed on the loading tray that then moves upwards and aligns itself with the barrel, which is 2 m Long , and releases the mortar bomb. The system has a range of 7,000 m and a rate of fire of 16 rounds per minute. Maximum rate of fire is 10 rds/min and multiple round simulaneous impact (MRSI) fire missions can be carried out with a total of 38 120 mm mortar bombs carried.
General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) has signed on 15 December 2015 a contract with the Danish Ministry of Defence armament procurement arm Forsvarsministeriets Materiel- og Indkøbsstyrelse (FMI) for the delivery of 309 GDELS-Mowag Piranha 5 8×8 wheeled armoured vehicles in six variants (infantry fighting, command post, ambulance, engineer, mortar carrier and repair unit) aimed for the Royal Danish Army. However the contract was announced by GDELS on January 26. The contract worth USD600 million also include a multi-year sustainment con¬tract for the through life support of the vehicles. Deliveries will commence in 2018 and continue through 2023. The new fleet is intended to progressively replace existing tracked armoured vehicles of M113 family. The Piranha 5 combat vehicle was selected over VBCI of Nexter System, PMMC G5 of Flensburger Fahrzeugbau GmbH (FFG) and CV 90 Armadillo of BAE Systems Hägglunds.