The South African Army has ordered mortar bombs of an unspecified calibre or calibres worth R8.6 million from Rheinmetall Denel Munitions in Potchefstroom. The order is in addition to a May 6 order worth R214.1 million for the acquisition of the Project Acrobat 60mm long-range mortar system and ammunition
It takes the value of mortar ammunition under contract ESCW/2008/397 to R279 064 358.10.
The Army has in addition ordered other ammunition and pyrotechnics worth around R194 million since August last year to replenish stocks that have not been significantly augmented since the advent of democracy in 1994. The Armscor tender awards website shows the contracts have principally been placed with state arsenal Denel subsidiaries Pretoria Metal Pressings (PMP) and Rheinmetall Denel Munitions (RDM).
The SA Army uses three mortar systems – the M1/M4 60mm, M3 81mm and M5 120mm mortar systems in addition to the still to-be-introduced Acrobat weapons that will likely be type-classified the M6.
Pic: A M3 81mm mortar team from 6 SAI Infanty Battalion (Air Assault) at De Brug training area, Bloemfontein, November 2008.