Author Topic: platoon indirect fire support. 60mm commando mortar? 40mm grenade launcher?  (Read 5309 times)

eagle from davao

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Question: which is better indirect fire support for rifle platoon? 60mm commando mortar or 40mm grenade launcher?
parameters of discussion
1] firepower
2] infantry load
3] cost of weapon and ammo
4] cost of maintenance
5] combat reliability and effectiveness
6] why european and middle east infantry uses commando mortar compared to US infantry
7] history of combat uses- strength and weakness

60mm commando mortar references
https://cove.army.gov.au/article/lightweight-handheld-mortars-suitable-and-effective-platform-be-organic-rifle-platoons
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hirtenberger_M6C-210
https://elbitsystems.com/media/60mm-Mortars-3.pdf
https://www.yugoimport.com/en/proizvodi/60-mm-m70-commando-mortar-0
https://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/mortar/60mm.html
https://www.edrmagazine.eu/two-in-one-rheinmetalls-new-60mm-mortar-for-infantry-and-special-forces

40mm grenade launcher references
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milkor_MGL
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M203_grenade_launcher
https://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m433.htm

british 51mm mortar
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-inch_mortar
https://www.drdo.gov.in/51mm-mortar-and-ammunition



girder

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Well in the first place you're talking about two different levels of weapon system so this is really a apples-to-oranges comparison. In practice a 40mm grenade launcher and a 60mm mortar would be used to cover different combat ranges: the M203 grenade launcher has an effective range from 14m (minimum) to 350m (15 to 382 yards) while an Elbit C05 commando mortar's range is from 85m to 800m (92 to 874 yards). Of course those ranges can be extended depending on the model of launcher or mortar used and the ammunition loaded (ex. ERLP grenades than can be loaded onto the Milkor MGL and can extend up to 800m, the Elbit C576 commando mortar with max. range of 1600m), but that doesn't really effect the general difference in use.

This picture should give one a better understanding of the difference in ranges we're talking about.



A commando mortar is supposed to be one step above the grenade launcher in terms of range and munition payload, but still be light enough to be man-portable and usable by just one operator, as opposed to other infantry mortars which require dedicated crews. This is achieved at the expense of accuracy and firepower when compared to the larger crewed mortars (lowering equipment weight and reducing the number of operators means less precise targeting and fire correction as well as having a less stable mortar platform).

A grenade launcher is even lighter and more portable, with correspondingly lighter munitions as well. Of course they can lob a lot less firepower than any mortars with significantly larger caliber munitions.

Its all a compromise among firepower, portability & range and the "best" option depends on what's needed in the situation. You probably wouldn't want to use a grenade launcher to try to engage targets in a field 500m away, likewise you probably wouldn't want to use a mortar to lob an explosive through a window 50m away.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2020, 10:57:08 PM by girder »

eagle from davao

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additional articles on 60mm commando mortar and 40mm grenade launchers

Commando 60mm mortar

https://www.marines.mil/Portals/1/Publications/FM%203-22.91%20Jul%202008%20PT%205.pdf
https://www.marines.mil/Portals/1/Publications/FM%2023-90%20W%20CH%201.pdf
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a158018.pdf
https://www.shu.edu/rotc/upload/Ranger-Handbook.pdf
https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/pdf/web/ARN19389_ATP%203-21x90%20FINAL%20WEB.pdf
https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/attp/attp3-21-90.pdf
https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/7-90/Ch6.htm
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a397820.pdf
https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2013/11/60mm-mortars-go-back-armscote-good/
http://unsworks.unsw.edu.au/fapi/datastream/unsworks:61399/SOURCE02?view=true
https://www.presby.edu/doc/military/FM3-21-8.pdf
https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=oLHxCQAAQBAJ&pg=PT132&lpg=PT132&dq=60mm+commando+mortar+m70+cost&source=bl&ots=vc6zGGSwPc&sig=ACfU3U0VtCDwNNaziNRWmUQI7lwAa_WnyQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiyruHu-4PqAhXJ-GEKHRwaC2sQ6AEwF3oECA0QAQ#v=onepage&q=60mm%20commando%20mortar%20m70%20cost&f=false


40mm grenade launchers

https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=o9QxDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA43&lpg=PA43&dq=tactical+employment+of+grenade+launchers&source=bl&ots=3PJhExkoQF&sig=ACfU3U2WDAppmG5S8wjpfUkzYu5MS5biDA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiGhqO09YPqAhUUfnAKHcYcDMUQ6AEwCnoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=tactical%20employment%20of%20grenade%20launchers&f=false
https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/03/10/heres-how-marine-corps-fielding-its-new-40mm-grenade-launchers.html
https://taskandpurpose.com/military-tech/grenade-launcher
https://www.milkorusa.com/
https://www.milkorusa.com/manuals/

eagle from davao

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Differences between commando mortar and grenade launcher

1. Sight Elevation - commando mortar drop fire= from 40 degree to 85 degree
                             commando mortar trigger fire-from 0 degree to 85 degree
                            grenade launcher - from 0 degree to 45 degree -

                           commando mortar can fairly accurate hit targets hiding walls, houses and buildings and
                           on rooftop- it can lob bombs into trenches with high probability.

                           grenade launcher can fairly accurate hit on line  -of - sight targets. it can also hit
                           into trenches with lower probability due 45 degree limit of its sight.

2. Cost of Equipment- milkor M32a1 semi-auto grenade launcher is quite expensive-it can range from USD 7,000 to 16,000 a piece. while the commando mortar range from USD 300 to 1700 of most models and make . the most expensive as high as USD 3700 a piece. The M203 Grenade Launcher may fetch between USD 1200 to 3000 a piece. These prices may vary depending on the sources and contracts.

These are some of the links:
https://www.wideopenspaces.com/you-can-buy-an-army-trade-in-m32-grenade-launcher-for-15000/
https://www.tactical-life.com/news/milkor-m32-grenade-launchers-40mm/
https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/milkor-m32-mgl-now-available-for-civilian-sale/
https://www.gunbroker.com/All/search?Keywords=m203%20grenade%20launcher
https://lmtdefense.com/product-category/parts/grenade-launcher-parts/
https://dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/iraq-m16a4-rifles-m4-carbines-and-m203-grenade-launchers
https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=nHdUItTL-hMC&pg=PA68&lpg=PA68&dq=cost+of+m203+grenade+launcher+for+sale&source=bl&ots=L-e7yZBVIZ&sig=ACfU3U3LkfKF8_d230gth_zv0NYoG68lpA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjRyv23oYXqAhVNBogKHVeQA3g4ChDoATAJegQICxAB#v=onepage&q=cost%20of%20m203%20grenade%20launcher%20for%20sale&f=false

3. TNT filler of each projectile- Of course we know 60mm mortar bomb has killing radius of 10 to 12 meters [depending on the model] compared to 40mm grenade projectile. 60mm bombs can penetrate better overhead protection .

https://elbitsystems.com/media/Land-Catalog-margemot-Hardcover_11_Web.pdf

4. Load- here the 40mm grenade launcher is lighter and easier to hump around compared to 60mm mortar.

5. Range - commando mortar have more range . it can increase its range by adding increment. Whereas 40mm grenade launcher is a fixed catridge.


       

eagle from davao

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« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 04:31:08 PM by eagle from davao »

adroth

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2. Cost of Equipment- milkor M32a1 semi-auto grenade launcher is quite expensive-it can range from USD 7,000 to 16,000 a piece. while the commando mortar range from USD 300 to 1700 of most models and make . the most expensive as high as USD 3700 a piece. The M203 Grenade Launcher may fetch between USD 1200 to 3000 a piece. These prices may vary depending on the sources and contracts.

What is the basis for these price quotes? Note that there are a number of factors that affect such values.

eagle from davao

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for the milkor m32 cost is based on this link. the price here is outlandish for a military gear offered to civilian market. In reality this tag price here must be lower in G2G agreement due to qty and service parts and other factors. just a reference for discussion i post it here

https://www.tactical-life.com/news/milkor-m32-grenade-launchers-40mm/

For the commando mortar both 51mm to 60mm calibers. The prices shown was already outdated since this pdf  file published more than 10 years ago. Unfortunately the link for this pdf file was no longer traceable. So i just took a screen shot on each page and posted here for discussion reference only. I agree there are so many factors will affect the purchase price. For the sake of comparison , the milkor m32 grenade launcher is more expensive compared to 60mm commando mortar  for its simplicity and cheaper manufacturing cost.

https://imageshack.com/i/pnGfZt1Fj
https://imageshack.com/i/po35z6DNj
https://imageshack.com/i/pnfxNkVNj

Argentine Army 60mm commando mortar
https://imageshack.com/i/pnqNcR8Cj

Hirtenberger 60mm commando mortar
https://imageshack.com/i/poiuIWRyj

British 60mm commando mortar
https://imageshack.com/i/pn3hLts8j

British 51mm commando mortar
https://imageshack.com/i/pm7jKWnhj

Czech 60mm commando mortar
https://imageshack.com/i/pmz0omtvj

French 51mm commando mortar
https://imageshack.com/i/pmeBZJt3j

Chilean Army 60mm commando mortar
https://imageshack.com/i/poBhyEP7j

Indian Army commando mortar
https://imageshack.com/i/pnCz4FHYj

Iranian 60mm commando mortar
https://imageshack.com/i/po6VkP1kj

Israeli 52mm commando mortar
https://imageshack.com/i/poufAVVEj

South African -DENEL 60mm commando mortar
https://imageshack.com/i/pn6ZNG9Fj

Israel Soltham 60mm commando mortar
https://imageshack.com/i/png3mBzWj

Singaporean Army 60mm commando mortar
https://imageshack.com/i/pnqCECqEj

Ammo price comparison for 37mm to 52mm
https://imageshack.com/i/pmASIXCVj

Swiss 60mm commando mortar
https://imageshack.com/i/pmNAhfKej

US 60mm mortar
https://imageshack.com/i/pnIuvBsyj

ammo price comparison for 60mm
https://imageshack.com/i/por3PXlZj

In these images , shows only the commando mortar types and its ammo. the cheapest here are the israeli soltham commando 60mm mortar models both drop-fired and trigger-fired. the most expensive is the m224 US mortar. This mortar is more expensive compared to others because of manufacturing process and its designed to withstand 4 to 6 charges and sustained fire operations. The Antos and hirtenberger are design not to take more than 2 charges and using aluminum and light materials . it is strictly for platoon fire support only.

note. kindly save the images if you find it useful. i only choose limited use in imageshack. If someone want to avail the pdf file please pm me. I will share the pdf file . thanks
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 03:50:37 PM by eagle from davao »


girder

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Food for thought:

After a review, the British Army pulled their M6-640 60mm mortars from service due to their "relative inaccuracy" and weight. Note that the M6 was brought in to replace the even smaller L9A1 51mm mortar.

Sources:
https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/03/24/say-goodbye-to-the-minimi-british-army-to-review-usage/
https://www.overtdefense.com/2018/08/05/british-army-drops-fn-minimi-60mm-mortar-l86-light-support-weapon/
https://www.eliteukforces.info/uk-military-news/2018-08-09-weapons-phase-out.php

eagle from davao

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I think this problem arises from the design of the sight of the mortar. the sight of M6-210 model is installed at the bottom to facilitate prone position . This can be disorienting if you fire from kneeling position. Compared to Denel M4 60mm mortar and Antos 60 mm mortar where the sight is installed with natural line of sight .

the sight system of Denel M4 model and Antos are shown here. The sight is installed at the top end of the tube.

http://admin.denel.co.za/uploads//M4_60.pdf

http://www.vop.cz/images/file/60%20mm%20ANTOS%20ENG.pdf

These sight design differs from hirtenberger M6-210 sight design . The level bubble installed at the bottom or base of the tube has slight inaccuracy issue unlike to the sight level bubble installed at the top end of the tube. The sensitivity of level bubble on the top end is greater compared to bottom installed.

https://www.defenceprocurementinternational.com/Content/Profiles/hirtenberger-defence-systems-the-mortar-company/hds-60mm-cdosystem-folder-a4-ansicht.pdf

This is just my observation.

this is the british army views in deploying platoon based hand fired or commando mortar. It states here contradicting views . the first statement says that first shot missed the target and requires second round to hit the target and plan to replace it  with carl gustav and multi-shot grenade launcher. But in the second statement that mortar and sharpshooter rifle are the professional killer of its weapon in platoon level. This is the link.

http://ukarmedforcescommentary.blogspot.com/2018/03/infantry-modernisation-british-army.html

This is just my observation. Carl Gustav 84mm RR and M6-210 60mm mortar are two different weapon system that has two differing role ,capability and limitation.  RR is a direct -fire ,line of sight and flat trajectory weapon platform. The M6-210 mortar is indirect -arch trajectory weapon platform.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2020, 11:10:07 PM by eagle from davao »

eagle from davao

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« Last Edit: July 17, 2020, 11:24:06 PM by eagle from davao »