L16 81mm mortar
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|L16 81mm mortar|
81mm mortar L16
|Place of origin|| United Kingdom
|Used by||United Kingdom|
|Wars||Borneo, South Arabia, Oman, Falklands War, Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Balkans, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan|
|Designer||Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment, Fort Halstead (barrel and bipod)|
|Manufacturer||Royal Ordnance (barrel and bipod)|
|Weight||combat 35.3 kg (78 lb)|
|Barrel length||1,280 millimetres (50 in)|
|Shell||4.2 kilograms (9.3 lb) (L3682).|
|Caliber||81 millimetres (3.2 in)|
|Recoil||baseplate and spring buffered mounting clamp|
|Rate of fire||15rpm, 1-12 rpm sustained, 20 rpm for short periods|
|Muzzle velocity||225 m/s (740 ft/s)|
|Effective range||HE: 100 - 5,675 m
(109 - 6,206 yd)
Smoke: 100 - 5,675 m (109 - 6,206 yd)
Flare: 400 - 4,800 m
(437 - 5,249 yd)
|Maximum range||5,650 m (6,180 yd)|
|Sights||Optical (C2) with Trilux illumination|
The United Kingdom's L16 81 mm mortar is the standard mortar used by the British armed forces. It originated as a joint design by UK and Canada. The version produced and used by Australia is named the F2 81mm Mortar, whilst the version used by the U.S. armed forces is known as the M252.
It was introduced in 1965/6, replacing the Ordnance ML 3 inch Mortar in UK service, where it is used by the Army, the Royal Marines and the RAF Regiment.
In UK armoured/mechanised infantry battalions, the L16 mortar is mounted in a vehicle, usually the FV 432 AFV (six per battalion mortar platoon) or Bv 206 (or the M113 APC in the many armies that use it). Otherwise, it is carried dissassembled in three loads, (barrel, baseplate and bipod with sights, each approximately 11 kg), normally carriedby a vehicle or helicopter and assembled for firing from the ground.
The weapon can be man-packed by the mortar detachment, but this is an arduous task (especially for the carrier of the bipod) and is preferably avoided. The ammunition in this case would be carried by other soldiers of the battalion. In addition to his normal equipment, each man would carry four bombs in a pair of two-bomb, plastic containers (known as greenies in the British Army).
- New Zealand
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States: Produced under license as the M252.
View down the smoothbore barrel of the L16 mortar.
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