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Mortars in Afghanistan

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
Seems like most armies are adopting, or have adopted, 120mm recently in preference to 81mm. Longer range, three times the HE on target, lots of gucci PGM type stuff that we wont buy...

I can't even see the logistics being a huge problem with the US using it in theatre. Even if the ammo ran out you can still use 81mm ammo in them with an attachment. The tubes might be technically less mobile than 81mm tubes but the FOBs don't move, might even free up the smaller tubes for patrols etc.

Cheap and effective?
 
#4
Flight said:
Seems like most armies are adopting, or have adopted, 120mm recently in preference to 81mm. Longer range, three times the HE on target, lots of gucci PGM type stuff that we wont buy...

I can't even see the logistics being a huge problem with the US using it in theatre. Even if the ammo ran out you can still use 81mm ammo in them with an attachment. The tubes might be technically less mobile than 81mm tubes but the FOBs don't move, might even free up the smaller tubes for patrols etc.

Cheap and effective?
1. My bold - before we go any further on this thread, please note that they are barrels and not tubes.

2. My italics - in Afghanistan we never patrolled with 81mm mortars in the context you might envisage. In the majority of cases 3 PARA mortars set up in compounds, desert leaguers or such like, ran off the back of helicopters or used vehicles to set up the ML in a pre-identified possible position(s). We did a number of quick extractions to HLS' on foot but these wouldn't be classed as patrols.
 
#5
Gluck_ab said:
1. My bold - before we go any further on this thread, please note that they are barrels and not tubes.
In this context, they're neither tubes nor barrels, they're mortars.

Is anybody equally neurotic about the use of terms such as Gimpy, Charlie G, Wimik etc? :roll: Or the use of "weapons system" when they're talking about a vanilla rifle?

"A six tube mortar line" sounds less stuttering than "a six mortar mortar line."

:x
 
#6
It's not a case being neurotic at all - tube has never been an accepted abbreviation or meaning for barrel in the same way as the examples you quote have been or are.

Similarly 'a six barrel mortar line' sounds, and is, better than its tube equivalent!

Bravo_Bravo and The_Duke - would you care to comment?
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#13
putteesinmyhands said:
If we're going to run a poll, you'll lose. There are more Cold War Warriors on here than Instructors.
So cold war (never really been) warriors beats recent hard operational experience and current training and quals?

Interesting. I know whose opinion I listen to.

Back to your comfy chair Puttees.
 

Schaden

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
The_Duke said:
putteesinmyhands said:
If we're going to run a poll, you'll lose. There are more Cold War Warriors on here than Instructors.
So cold war (never really been) warriors beats recent hard operational experience and current training and quals?

Interesting. I know whose opinion I listen to.

Back to your comfy chair Puttees.
I've been - Angola War games 1980 - 1987, they're tubes.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
I did a search.... Honest!

Good thread that, especially the vids of the Amos. :twisted:

1. My bold - before we go any further on this thread, please note that they are barrels and not tubes.
My bad. Tube seems to be bandied around, even by regs, as slang for barrels. I thought it was accepted practise.

2. My italics - in Afghanistan we never patrolled with 81mm mortars in the context you might envisage. In the majority of cases 3 PARA mortars set up in compounds, desert leaguers or such like, ran off the back of helicopters or used vehicles to set up the ML in a pre-identified possible position(s). We did a number of quick extractions to HLS' on foot but these wouldn't be classed as patrols.
What you describe is pretty much how I thought things would work. Clearly larger, less mobile barrels, would or could stay put in the compounds.

When you took the mortars did this involve breaking up an already bedded in ML? If so would having a few larger calibre mortars on a permanent ML not be useful?

Going loosely back to the Amos vids reminded me of another mortar used in the DF role. Oddly enough it was particularly effective in Afghanistan.

Also the gumps studied the possibility of firing 120mm mortar ammunition from their smoothbore tank guns. Whether this was purely a cost saving measure I have no idea, though I'm guessing the difference in price per round must be huge. Likely mortar rounds just contain a great deal more HE than a higher velocity tank round.
 
#16
Flight said:
I did a search.... Honest!

Good thread that, especially the vids of the Amos. :twisted:

1. My bold - before we go any further on this thread, please note that they are barrels and not tubes.
My bad. Tube seems to be bandied around, even by regs, as slang for barrels. I thought it was accepted practise.

2. My italics - in Afghanistan we never patrolled with 81mm mortars in the context you might envisage. In the majority of cases 3 PARA mortars set up in compounds, desert leaguers or such like, ran off the back of helicopters or used vehicles to set up the ML in a pre-identified possible position(s). We did a number of quick extractions to HLS' on foot but these wouldn't be classed as patrols.
What you describe is pretty much how I thought things would work. Clearly larger, less mobile barrels, would or could stay put in the compounds.

When you took the mortars did this involve breaking up an already bedded in ML? If so would having a few larger calibre mortars on a permanent ML not be useful?
Going loosely back to the Amos vids reminded me of another mortar used in the DF role. Oddly enough it was particularly effective in Afghanistan.

Also the gumps studied the possibility of firing 120mm mortar ammunition from their smoothbore tank guns. Whether this was purely a cost saving measure I have no idea, though I'm guessing the difference in price per round must be huge. Likely mortar rounds just contain a great deal more HE than a higher velocity tank round.
My bold - it's role and op dependant. For instance, on the Kajaki dam op in Aug-Sep 08, it was a mixture of a permanent ML based in a FOB and 2 sections deployed on the ground to provide flexibility and coverage to the blokes on the ground. Another consideration is the weight of stores for 120 mm as compared to 81 mm with regard to resupply, especially if that's by SH.
 
#17
Flight said:
I did a search.... Honest!

Good thread that, especially the vids of the Amos. :twisted:

1. My bold - before we go any further on this thread, please note that they are barrels and not tubes.
My bad. Tube seems to be bandied around, even by regs, as slang for barrels. I thought it was accepted practise.

2. My italics - in Afghanistan we never patrolled with 81mm mortars in the context you might envisage. In the majority of cases 3 PARA mortars set up in compounds, desert leaguers or such like, ran off the back of helicopters or used vehicles to set up the ML in a pre-identified possible position(s). We did a number of quick extractions to HLS' on foot but these wouldn't be classed as patrols.
What you describe is pretty much how I thought things would work. Clearly larger, less mobile barrels, would or could stay put in the compounds.

When you took the mortars did this involve breaking up an already bedded in ML? If so would having a few larger calibre mortars on a permanent ML not be useful?
Going loosely back to the Amos vids reminded me of another mortar used in the DF role. Oddly enough it was particularly effective in Afghanistan.

Also the gumps studied the possibility of firing 120mm mortar ammunition from their smoothbore tank guns. Whether this was purely a cost saving measure I have no idea, though I'm guessing the difference in price per round must be huge. Likely mortar rounds just contain a great deal more HE than a higher velocity tank round.
My bold - it's role and op dependant. For instance, on the Kajaki dam op in Aug-Sep 08, it was a mixture of a permanent ML based in a FOB and 2 sections deployed on the ground to provide flexibility and coverage to the blokes on the ground. Another consideration is the weight of stores for 120 mm as compared to 81 mm with regard to resupply, especially if that's by SH.
 

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