The Swiss Army has just approved the induction of a new version of the Piranha IV 8×8 infantry fighting vehicle in self-propelled mortar carrier version called Mörser 16. In 2016, the Swiss parliament approved the procurement of 32 systems of a 120 mm (12 cm) RUAG MRO Cobra mortar system. In addition, twelve trucks, an undifferentiated ammunition package and logistics material are to be procured and 16 existing command vehicles adapted. The tactical capabilities of the future 120 mm mortar of the Swiss Armed Forces were assessed at the training area in Bière as early as March 2020. According to the delivery plan of the Swiss Army, the vehicle will enter in service in 2024.
The Cobra is a high-tech mortar system designed by Swiss company RUAG Defence. A key factor is the use of an electric drive to ensure both the accuracy and the speed of the system, whilst ballistic computing enables MRSI (Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact) firing. The COBRA can be easily integrated into any tracked or wheeled vehicle and is designed so users can be quickly trained to a high standard of operation. Cobra protects users against incorrect operation or double loading when operating at night or in extreme weather. The recoil force is 30 tonnes in 30 milliseconds. The firing of the first round needs less than 60 seconds.
The Piranha IV (Piranha 3 +) is the fourth member of the Piranha family of armoured vehicles and is being developed as a private venture by the Swiss MOWAG corporation (since April 2010 the name has changed to General Dynamics European Land Systems – Mowag GmbH). Five generations of Piranha have been produced, manufactured by Mowag or under licence by other companies, and variants are in service with military forces throughout the world. The Piranha IV was developed in response to customer requirements for compact vehicles with large and flexible internal volume, high levels of modular protection, excellent off-road mobility and inherent growth capability.
The Piranha IV provides a greatly increased level of protection compared to the earlier Piranha variants. Standard armour offers all-round 14.5mm AP protection and 20mm-23mm AP on front. Can offer full protection for the crew if a 10 kg explosive AT mine explodes under the hull. Adds-on can offer all-round protection to 25mm AP rounds and level 5 STANAG 4569. General Dynamics European Land Systems developed a state-of-the-art driveline and suspension system for the Piranha IV, combined with a powerful SCANIA diesel engine and ZF automatic transmission. As with all PIRANHA platforms, the new PIRANHA 3+ can be equipped with an amphibious drive to operate as a marine infantry vehicle.