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Swiss Army Orders Additional 16 GDELS Piranha IV 120mm Self-propelled Mortar Systems

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Swiss Army Orders Additional 16 GDELS Piranha IV 120mm Self-propelled Mortar Systems

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Swiss Army Mörser 16 120mm self-propelled mortar system
Swiss Army Mörser 16 120mm self-propelled mortar system

The Swiss Federal Office for Armaments (Armasuisse) has signed a contract with General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS)-Mowag for a further 16 Mörser 16 120mm mortar systems. Under the 2022 armaments programme, the Swiss Federal Parliament has approved procurement of a second tranche of the mortar systems with a value of CHF175 million. The contract also covers protected trucks for ammunition resupply and operational support. The 32 mortar systems in the first tranche are currently being manufactured and will be handed over between 2024 and 2025. Delivery of the additional systems planned is planned from 2026. This means a total of 48 mortar systems will now be procured as part of the programme.

Swiss Army Mörser 16 120mm self-propelled mortar system
Swiss Army Mörser 16 120mm self-propelled mortar system

The Mörser 16 120mm mortar systems combine a Piranha IV 8×8 infantry fighting vehicle platform with RUAG’s Cobra mortar. In 2016, the Swiss parliament approved the procurement of 32 systems of a 120 mm (12 cm) RUAG MRO Cobra mortar system. 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). 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.

Swiss Army Mörser 16 120mm self-propelled mortar system
Swiss Army Mörser 16 120mm self-propelled mortar system

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. As with all PIRANHA platforms, the new PIRANHA 3+ can be equipped with an amphibious drive to operate as a marine infantry vehicle. Adds-on can offer all-round protection to 25mm AP rounds and level 5 STANAG 4569. GDELS-Mowag 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.

Swiss Army Mörser 16 120mm self-propelled mortar system
Swiss Army Mörser 16 120mm self-propelled mortar system

The Cobra is a high-tech mortar system designed by Swiss company RUAG Defence. 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. 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 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.

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