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Israel Defense Forces Conduct First Operational Use of Iron Sting Guided Mortar Munition

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Israel Defense Forces Conduct First Operational Use of Iron Sting Guided Mortar Munition

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Israel Defense Forces and Elbit Systems Reveal New Iron Sting Guided Mortar Munition
Israel Defense Forces Iron Sting Guided Mortar Munition

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) recently marked a historic milestone with the first operational use of the Iron Sting Guided Mortar Munition. The Iron Sting boasts a combination of laser and GPS guidance systems that make it a powerful tool for accurate, pinpoint strikes in densely populated urban environments.This precision munition, designed to enhance the IDF’s capabilities in urban warfare scenarios while minimizing risks to civilians, proved its effectiveness in targeted strikes against Hamas rocket launchers in Gaza and other hostile targets in Lebanon. The first operational use of the Iron Sting took place during a mission conducted by soldiers from the esteemed Maglan Special Forces Unit. Their mission was to neutralize a Hamas rocket-launching site in the Gaza Strip, a location responsible for firing rockets into Israeli territory and threatening the lives of civilians.

In a dynamic response to these threats, the Iron Sting was deployed, leading to a successful elimination of the threat and a decisive victory for the IDF. Major (res.) N., hailing from Kibbutz Ma’ale Hahamisha, demonstrated the agility and adaptability of Israel’s soldiers. Responding to a surprise terrorist attack on his kibbutz on October 7th, Major N. quickly shifted from civilian duty to military service. Within hours, he assumed the role of team leader for the Iron Sting in Maglan’s reserve mortar unit. Major N.’s transition from civilian to soldier exemplifies the dedication and readiness of IDF personnel in defending their homeland. Within seconds, the system can be readied for action. Moreover, the Iron Sting’s coordination with the Israeli Air Force allows for the completion of a full operational cycle in just five minutes.

Israel Defense Forces and Elbit Systems Reveal New Iron Sting Guided Mortar Munition
An Iron Sting round being fired from an Elbit CARDOM (Keshet in IDF service) mortar in an M1064 tracked carrier. (Israel MoD)

Iron Sting is an Israeli 120mm laser and Guided Mortar Munition (GMM) manufactured by Elbit Systems Land. The Iron Sting Guided Mortar Munition offers a range of 1-12 km, depending on the mortar tube. Three modes of operation, GPS/IMU, SAL+GPS/IMU and SAL+IMU provide robust capabilities in all battlefield scenarios. Iron Sting features a seeker laser sensor capable of operating with standard pulse (NATO STANAG 3722) and an encoded CW laser diode (lightweight and low-cost, suitable for small drones and UAS). With enhanced precision and autonomous fire capabilities including multi-target engagement, the combat-proven guided mortar munitions require less manpower and fewer rounds of ammunition, minimizing the operational risk as well as precluding the need for a complex and vulnerable logistic tail.

The 120mm warhead precision-guided munition is capable of penetrating Double Reinforced Concrete (DRC) with a blast and fragmentation effect. The mortar bomb features a multi-mode fuze with Point Detonation (PD), Point Detonation Delay (PDD) and proximity sensor (PRX) operating modes. Mission loading time is 15 seconds, and no meteorological data is required. The GMM are equipped with a multi-mode fuze (Point Detonation, Point Detonation Delay, Height of Burst), blast and fragmentation warheads, and some also include penetration warheads. These advanced operational capabilities significantly enhance fire power at the battalion and brigade level. The introduction of these new capabilities enables accurate firing to extended ranges with near vertical trajectory at line-of-sight (LOS) and non-line-of-sight (NLOS) targets, in urban or open terrain, and in all weather conditions.

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