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The US Army is testing the NEMO self-propelled mortar on the AMPV chassis

The US Army has announced tests of the MTMS self-propelled mortar on the BAE Systems AMPV chassis, equipped with a 120-mm NEMO made by the Finnish company Patria.

On Tuesday, May 7, 2024, the US Army announced tests at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona of a prototype of the MTMS (Modular Turreted Mortar System) self-propelled mortar on the BAE Systems AMPV (Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle) chassis, equipped with a 120-mm NEMO (New Mortar) produced by the Finnish company Patria Land Systems.

Photo: US Army

According to Kevin Irr, a test officer from the US Army Munitions and Weapons Division, intensive evaluations are currently ongoing to ensure that the MTMS system meets performance expectations ahead of the upcoming demonstration at the Maneuver Warfighter Conference in Fort Moore this September.

On March 6 of this year, BAE Systems Inc. reported the delivery of a prototype named AMPV Turreted Mortar to the US Army. The prototype received a new interchangeable top plate called ExMEP, which strengthens the hull structure of the AMPV and allows for the quick installation of other mission equipment, in this case, a 120-mm remotely controlled NEMO mortar module. The crew consists of three soldiers: a commander and two crew members responsible for operating the mortar.

The prototype was created on behalf of the US Army in the FIFT (Mortar Future Indirect Fire Turret) program, which involves integrating a turret system with a 120-mm automatic mortar onto the wheeled IAV Stryker chassis for Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT) and the tracked AMPV for Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCT). In the program, for the wheeled variant, Patria Land Systems and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA) are also participating.

We are diligently verifying its advertised capabilities and making sure it is safe for the Soldiers to operate, Irr explained. Additionally, we’re conducting several other tests to gauge the weapons system’s overall operability.

Testing of the weapon system began in January and is set to conclude in July (thus BAE Systems Inc. reported the delivery with a notable delay – editor’s note). Furthermore, a demonstration test will be conducted at the Yuma Proving Ground to identify any potential issues or to refine procedures before the vehicle is sent to Fort Moore.

Safety tests primarily focus on two key areas, as outlined by Irr. Firstly, the Army assesses the impact of vehicle operation on soldiers’ hearing. Mortar systems generate high-intensity noise during firing, and prolonged exposure can cause hearing damage. Additionally, another priority is the issue of the accumulation of toxic fumes inside the vehicle, which can result from firing the main armament (gunpowder gases) and from engine exhaust.

According to Capt. Mike Hapner from the Program Executive Office (PEO) Ground Combat Systems, the AMPV chassis was chosen because it meets the objective requirement to replace the M113 family of vehicles. This is especially significant as the US Army currently lacks a mortar system offering such capabilities.

As emphasized by BAE Systems Inc., the system allows for firing in MRSI (Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact) mode, whereby five mortar rounds, fired at different trajectories, hit the target area simultaneously in less than four seconds, whether the vehicle is moving or stationary.

The AMPV Mortar Carrier is one of the five AMPV variants currently being produced for the US Army. During the AUSA 2023 exhibition in Washington (October 9-11, 2023), the company presented a new prototype variant equipped with a C-UAS system for combating unmanned aerial vehicles, also utilizing ExMEP solutions. In August 2023, BAE Systems signed a contract for mass production of AMPV vehicles as successors to the outdated vehicles of M113 family, used since the 1960s, about 300 of which were provided to Ukraine. A second contract in this matter was signed on March 28 this year.

Regarding the NEMO system, the first live fire demonstration for the US Army took place on September 11, 2019, at that time using the Patria 8×8 chassis. The FIFT program was launched on August 2, 2018. The NEMO turret system meets requirements for caliber, barrel length, high level of automation, range, ammunition storage, and digital fire control system.


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