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Saab Bofors Dynamics Switzerland Introduces New Thor 120mm Mortar Ammunition

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Saab Bofors Dynamics Switzerland Introduces New Thor 120mm Mortar Ammunition

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Saab Bofors Dynamics Thor 120mm Mortar Ammunition
Saab Bofors Dynamics Thor 120mm Mortar Ammunition

Artillery shells is one of the most devastating weapons at the disposal of combat battalions, capable of destroying hardened vehicles and breaching structures. High operational costs and size has seen them replaced in many situations by mortar systems offering superior portability and cost effectiveness. But conventional mortars have lacked comparable fire power, creating a capability gap that has limited the effectiveness of combat forces. This gap is now set to be closed with the arrival of a new generation 120mm mortar round from Saab, capable of similar effect to 155mm artillery shells while offering the agility and cost effectiveness of a mortar system. The new ammunition employs similar pre-fragmentation technology to that used in the missile warheads developed at Saab.

Saab Bofors Dynamics Switzerland has launched a new 120mm mortar round, which increases the effectiveness of round fragmentation. The Thor design focuses on maximizing the explosive blast fragmentation effects on the target compared with conventional 120mm mortar rounds. The pre-fragmentation technology enables users to predict each round’s lethal radius, which in turn is claimed to reduce collateral damage and increases effectiveness more than twice (250 percent approximately) blast effect on target. A traditional 120 mm mortar bomb fitted with a nose-mounted proximity fuze disperses fragments in nearly every direction, which decreases the lethality as more than 50% of the fragments are scattered upwards. The Thor was introduced at DSEI exhibition in September 2017.

Saab Bofors Dynamics Thor 120 mm mortar amunition, with a nose-mounted fuze but without increments at the rear. ( Photo by Saab)
Saab Bofors Dynamics Thor 120 mm mortar amunition, with a nose-mounted fuze but without increments at the rear. ( Photo by Saab AB)

The Thor 120 mm smoothbore mortar bomb uses a multidimensional fragmentation design – a further development of the Mortar Anti-Personnel Anti-Material (MAPAM) design that was originally used on Saab’s 60 mm and 81 mm mortar bombs.The design of the Thor 120 mm mortar bomb combines different shapes (cubes and spheres), materials (steel, molybdenum, and tungsten), and fragmentation sizes (2.5, 4.5, and 6.5 mm). A key feature of the Thor bomb is that users select different chamber configurations or different fragments depending on the target set. The bomb is insensitive munition (IM) compliant, weighs 15 kg, and typically contains 1,400 steel balls, 1,700 fragments, and 3.4 kg of PBXN-110 high-explosive (HE), with the option of an additional 1 kg of HE blast explosive.

The all-new THOR is a 120mm mortar round developed with a unique design, combining different shapes, materials and fragmentation sizes to attain the desired effect on the target. The round can be uniquely designed, combining different shapes, materials and fragmentation sizes to attain the desired effect on the target. Being able to customise the style of fragmentation not only delivers tailored lethality, but also control of fragment velocity. THOR uses Saab proprietary ODIN technology to increase lethality by up to 100 percent, giving your forces a much higher chance of neutralising and even destroying targets that would normally require heavier support. There are lower lifecycle costs and a logistical footprint versus a standard 120 mm round.

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