Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems has developed a new version of its SPEAR fully autonomous, 120mm mortar system onto the platform of Oshkosh-made Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or JLTV.
According to Israel’s defense giant, company’s engineers successfully integrated a 120mm soft recoil mortar system on the JLTV base. It’s equipped with a recoil reduction system that reduces the mortar’s firing loads from 30+ tons to as low as 12-15 tons, the “soft recoil” allows the SPEAR to be mounted on a variety of high-mobility light tactical vehicles such as JLTV and other high-mobility rapid deployment wheeled platforms as well as bigger wheeled or tracked platforms.
The mortar is a derivative of the CARDOM battle proven mortar system – more than 1,000 systems extensively used by the US Army, NATO, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and others.
Elbit Systems says the SPEAR is equipped with computerized aiming and navigation devices, enabling the mortar system to be operated autonomously and aimed without the need for external reference points. SPEAR can be easily integrated with a variety of C4I or Battle Management Systems (BMS). The system generates a comprehensive tactical picture that includes both friendly and enemy forces along with additional battlefield elements, enabling accurate threat analysis and an attack result forecast.
Targeting information is relayed to the Fire Control System (FCS), which computes the ballistic data and orders the mortar’s automatic laying system to position the mortar barrel to the exact azimuth and elevation. The system is embedded with an Inertial Navigation System(INS) to provide maximum accuracy. The system can operate independently with forward observers and/or deployed forces. The system can also be deployed standalone or as part of the battery/platoon configuration.
As to the JLTV, it is a joint U.S. military program that will partially replace the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) with a family of more survivable vehicles with greater payload. The new vehicle was developed by Oshkosh Defense.
The JLTV is equipped with more highly evolved technology compared to the basic equipment of a Humvee. The JLTV is mechanically reliable, maintainable with on-board diagnostics, all terrain mobile, and equipped to link into current and future tactical data nets.
To design the JLTV, the military took the best of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, the high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle, the palletized loading system and other vehicles and combined them into one.