Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) has revealed that the South African Army has ordered millions of rands worth of 60 mm mortar ammunition.
The company said the Army ordered conventional 60 mm and 60 mm long-range mortar ammunition, including High Explosives, Practice, Illumination and Smoke Burst Screening Smoke Mortar Cartridges. These will be delivered within 12 months.
“Since 2008, Rheinmetall Denel Munition has contributed significantly to improving South Africa’s military defence capabilities. This acquisition allows the South African National Defence Force to sustain its current infantry capability and also support its training requirements,” RDM said.
The company previously announced the order at the beginning of October but did not disclose the customer.
“Rheinmetall’s new 60 mm mortar has been specifically developed for infantry and Special Forces. Its innovative design and engineering characteristics provide significant weight saving and present a two-in-one solution. Owing to improvements in range, precision and lethality, the RDM Mortar Family (60 mm/81 mm/120mm mortars) enables troops deployed in counterinsurgency operations to engage targets successfully even in difficult terrain and built-up areas,” the company said in a statement.
RDM said Rheinmetall’s 60 mm mortar ammunition family encompasses service and practice ammunition, including IHE (insensitive high explosive), multispectral smoke/obscurant and illumination rounds (visual and infrared). The IHE variant is optimized for insensitivity, meeting or exceeding STANAG 4439 specifications.
For its part, the optimized 60mm IHE pre-formed fragments (PFF) round produces destructive force comparable to 81 mm ammunition, even though the round and the weapon both weigh less. The new 60 mm ammunition can be fired from lightweight commando-type mortars as well as from standard and long-range systems. With standard mortar, the maximum effective range is close to 4 000 metres; with a long-range system, this increases to nearly 4 500 metres. Fired from a lightweight Special Forces mortar, these rounds attain a maximum range of over 2 000 metres. Moreover, the new 60 mm mortar ammunition family is compatible with all standard weapon systems in this calibre.