The South African Army has awarded Silverton, Pretoria-based Contracts Logistics Equipment (Pty) Ltd a R219 972.55 contract for the procurement of special tools for the M5 120 mm artillery mortar.
The contract, awarded December 9, takes work orders for the upkeep of the on the M5 to R3 267 501.42 since 2007.
The acquisition process for what would become the M5 started in 1972 according to retired Lieutenant Colonel Clive Wilsworth. Writing in his “First in, First Out”, an account of the South Afican Artillery in action from 1975 to 1988, he notes the Directorate Artillery was seeking a light system to replace the aged 88mm G1 and to increase the mobility and flexible of the field gunners. Systems inestigated included the Italian OTO Melera 105mm light gun and a French rifled 120mm mortar. But in 1973 a contract was signed with Israeli Military Industries for 36 Tampella Industries 120mm mortars. In February 1975, four gunners and an ordnance artificer were detached to Israel to train on the system.
Various delays resulted in raining on the system only beginning at 141 Battery, 14 Field Regiment, in 1977. Its operational debut came the next year, when in February, the battery was deployed for Operation Bruilof. Further delays and rivalries meant that the first parachute drop of the M5 took place at Air Force Base Waterkloof in Pretoria on April 7, 1980. Four M5s with ammunition were dropped alongside the main runway from a Lockheed C130BZ “and the concept was established.”
The M5 weighs 350kg and can fire a 14kg bomb up to 6250m.
Procurement of 120 mm mortar M5 special tools
EAES/2010/277 9 Dec 2010 R219 972,55 Contracts Logistics Equipment (Pty) Ltd
Manufacture of 120 mm mortar M5 plotter board
EAES/2010/288 11 Nov 2010 R243 200,00 Industrial Composites CC
Replenishment of 120 mm mortar demobilisation containers – extension of EAES/2008/185
AES/S2009/1007 6 Aug 2009 R489 473,00 Contracts Logistics Equipment (Pty) Ltd
Replenishment of 120 mm mortar M5 demobilisation containers
EAES/2008/185 2 Oct 2008 R2 164 703,00 Contracts Logistics Equipment (Pty) Ltd
Replenishment of 120 mm M5 mortar containers – extension of EATL/2004/624
AES/S2007/0763 23 Aug 2007 R150 152,87 Contracts Logistics Equipment (Pty) Ltd