The German Armed Forces has contracted with Rheinmetall to supply 120mm mortar ammunition and modernize its mortar systems. Booked in 2021, the order represents gross volume of around €27 million in total. Rheinmetall possesses extensive expertise in the field of indirect fire, and offers a complete range of 120mm, 81mm and 60mm ammunition families. The Group’s also makes mortar fire control systems and mortars like the 120mm Ragnarök mortar weapon system and the innovative RSG60 60mm mortar, introduced as recently as 2019.
Rheinmetall Norway has developed to the prototype stage its MWS 120 Ragnarok 120 mm turntable mounted mortar system. The weapon, developed with internal funding, is designed for potential German and export customers. It is currently at Technology Readiness Level 7 (TRL 7) as 80% of the components are common with the in-service 81 mm system, called MWS 81, which is already deployed by the Norwegian Army. The MWS 120’s recoil system is a combined hydraulic and gas system, with gas used for the return of the recoiling mass.
Rheinmetall also has developed the new RSG60 60mm mortar, which can be used by both infantry and Special Forces. The 15.8kg standard infantry version of the RSG60 can be configured into a 6.8kg commando mortar variant in around 30s with some manual adjustments. The standard variant is capable of achieving a range of up to 3,200m, based on the type of ammunition and charges that are used. It can also provide a range of up to 3,700m when equipped with a 30cm-long barrel. Rheinmetall aimed to design a lightweight, future-oriented weapon system with a focus on speed and ergonomics.
In the course of the modernization, which is to be completed by 2023, Rheinmetall is upgrading the Bundeswehr’s 120mm mortars, which will enable them to fire new generation (NG) mortar rounds. This involves adding obturation rings to the tubes. As part of this order, Rheinmetall has already supplied the Bundeswehr with DM75 NG multispectral mortar rounds and DM56 NG infrared illumination mortar rounds in 2021. The latest Bundeswehr order is a reminder of Rheinmetall’s role as a leading supplier of indirect fire systems.