|Soltam K6 mortar|
|Place of origin||Israel|
|Used by||See below|
|Mass||144.7 kg (319 lb)|
|Caliber||120 millimetres (4.7 in)|
|Rate of fire||16 RPM max, 4 RPM sustained|
|Effective firing range||7,240 metres (7,920 yd)|
The Soltam K6 is a 120 mm (4.75 inch) mortar that was developed by Soltam Systems of Israel. It is the long-range version of the Soltam K5 and has replaced older systems, such as the 107-millimetre (4.2 in) M30, in several armies including the United States Army. It is much lighter than the M30, has a greater range, and can sustain a rate of fire of four rounds per minute, while the M30 could sustain only three.
The K6 fires fin-stabilized ammunition from a smoothbore barrel. Unlike its smaller ammunition cousins, the 81 mm and 60 mm mortars, the fin blades of the ammunition fired from the M120 are not canted. Thus, no spin is imparted to the projectile in flight. Although heavy mortars require trucks or tracked mortar carriers to move them, they are still much lighter than field artillery pieces. They outrange light and medium mortars, and their explosive power is much greater. An improved version is known as the K6A3.
High explosive rounds fired by the M120 weigh about 31 lb (14 kg) and can have a lethality radius of 225 ft (69 m).
History and deployment
The K6 entered service with the United States Army in 1991 as the M120 Mortar System. Its mission is to provide heavy weapon, high-angle organic indirect fire support to the unit commander. The M120 is used by both mechanized units and light infantry in certain situations. Another feature of the M120 is the M303 Sub-Caliber insert, which allows the mortar to fire 81 mm ammunition.
In 2007, the U.S. Army ordered 588 M326 MSS (Mortar Stowage Systems) from BAE Systems. Here, the assembled mortar is mounted on a truck, Humvee or M1101 trailer and can be mounted and dismounted in less than 20 seconds.
|Maximum range:||7,240 metres (23,750 ft)|
|Minimum range:||200 metres (660 ft)|
|Weight:||144.7 kilograms (319 lb) without ammunition|
|326.1 kilograms (719 lb) when mounted on trailer|
|Rate of fire:||16 rounds/min first minute, 4 rounds/min sustained|
The M120 mortar system consists of the following major components:
- M298 cannon assembly (110 pounds or 50 kilograms)
- M190 bipod assembly (70 pounds or 32 kilograms)
- M9 baseplate (136 pounds or 62 kilograms)
- M1100 trailer (399 pounds or 181 kilograms)
- M67 sight unit (2.5 pounds or 1.1 kilograms)
The M120 is capable of firing the following munitions:
- XM395 precision guided munition
- M929 smoke cartridge (White Phosphorus)
- XM930 illumination round
- XM930E1 illumination round
- XM931 practice round
- M933 high explosive round
- M934 high explosive round
- M934A1 high explosive round
- XM983 illumination round
- Armenia: 12; M120 variant:183
- Bolivia: M120 variant:404
- Denmark: 20:99
- Georgia: 18:189
- Iraq: 450; M120 variant:353
- Kazakhstan M120 variant:191
- Latvia: 25; M120 variant:122
- Poland: 142; M120 variant:134
- United States: 1,076 M120 and M1064A3 variants:48
- Cardom 120 mm recoil mortar system
- M1064 mortar carrier – M113 series vehicle fitted with M121 120 mm mortar
- M1129 Mortar Carrier – Stryker series vehicle fitted with M121 120 mm mortar
- Soltam M-65 120 mm mortar
- M327 – 120 mm towed mortar used the USMC
- List of U.S. military vehicles by model number
- "Soltam K5 and K6 120 mm light mortars (Israel), Mortars". Jane's. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- MAKING THE MORTAR SMARTER Archived 30 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine - Sofmag.com, 26 May 2015
- "BAEs M326 MSS: Mortar In, Mortar Out, Mortar On". Archived from the original on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- "Elbit Systems of America Receives U.S. Army Contract for Mortar Weapon Systems" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 January 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
- 120mm Mortar Smoke Cartridge http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/m929.htm Archived 7 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- International Institute for Strategic Studies (2020). The Military Balance. 120. Routlegde. ISBN 978-0-367-46639-8.