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US Army Eyes Polish Mortar for New Fighting Vehicle

The US Army is considering a powerful new mortar system from Poland to equip their upcoming Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV). This article explores the possibility of the Polish M120 Rak mortar system joining the US Army’s arsenal.

Currently, US mortar systems come in various sizes, with 60mm and 81mm options for lighter firepower. They also have the 120mm M120A1 towed mortar and the M1064 mortar mounted on M113 vehicles, used in armored brigades. However, the US military is seeking a more modern solution for their new AMPV.

Enter the M120 Rak, a Polish-made 120mm self-propelled mortar system. This mortar packs a punch, firing 6-8 shells per minute at targets up to 10 kilometers away. An upgraded version in development boasts an even faster firing rate of 12-16 rounds per minute and might require fewer soldiers to operate. The M120 Rak also boasts a 360-degree firing range and a machine gun for close combat.

Another advantage? Speed. The M120 Rak can quickly switch from travel mode to firing position, unleashing a torrent of firepower before disappearing from enemy sights. This mobility is key for modern warfare.

The M120 Rak’s adaptability is another plus. Currently mounted on Poland’s Rosomak wheeled vehicles, the system has also been tested on tracked platforms like the Polish LPG and even Germany’s Marder. This flexibility suggests it could be integrated with the US Army’s AMPV, potentially through licensing agreements between Poland and US manufacturers.

The M120 Rak isn’t just a single mortar launcher; it’s part of a larger Polish military system. This system includes command vehicles on the same platform, reconnaissance vehicles with radar and mini-drones, and support vehicles. While the US might not adopt the entire system, it highlights the integrated approach Poland takes with its mortar capabilities.

The US Army’s current Rosomak-based M120 Rak has a three-person crew and a digital fire control system with night vision and laser targeting. The system is powered by a diesel engine for a top speed of 80 km/h and a range of 500 km. It’s already seeing action with the Polish military and has even been supplied to Ukraine.

While the final decision is yet to be made, the M120 Rak’s combination of firepower, mobility, and adaptability makes it a strong contender for the US Army’s new mortar system. This Polish innovation could soon be a key part of the US Army’s armored brigades.pen_sparktunesharemore_vert