Tuesday, October 30, 2007

China opens its 120mm Guided Mortar Munition

China just unveiled its 120mm Guided Mortar Munitions via a state-run magazine in beginning of September. This kind of 120mm guided munition can be fired from PLA's existing 120 Mortar systems. A typical Mortar company includes 6 120mm mortar system with additional laser guidance system (for frontier observer), fire-control computer (for commanding vehicle), synchronous communication devices and battlefield fiber digital commanding network.

Chinese official resource also describes the 120mm Guided Mortar Munition's operation sequence:

Step 1: When commanding vehicle receive fire request and the company prepare to fire in 60 seconds
Step 2: gunners receive firing characters from fire control computer and then manually load laser code, fuse mode and flight time through the setting button on the round body and finally adjust direction. Meanwhile, forward observers also receive these firing characters.
Step 3: The mortar system fired and flies to the target acquisition area.
Step 4: The forward observer designates the target with a laser guidance system and the mortar seeker begins to find laser energy.
Step 5: Seeker find laser radiation and lock the target.
Sept 6: By means of embedded impulse thrust motors, the mortar round maneuvers ballistic trajectory to impact the target

The specifications of China's 120mm Mortar munition can be described as:

Weight: 17-20KG
Kill radius: 20m
Range: <13km>5km
Fire-control computer weight: 1-3kg
Computing time: 1 second

Chinese resources said that the seeker is a simplified device also installed on 122mm, 152mm and 155mm howitzer munition. For this reason , the 120mm Guided Mortar probably can not reach the declared 2-3m CEP but 7-9m because the seek is fixed on the round body head without a gyroscope platform.

Unlike U.S XM395 PGMM (Precision Guided Mortar Munition)'s DASALS (Distributed Aperture Semi-Active Laser Seeker) and Israel IMI's DGPS (Differential Global Positioning System) for its Guided Mortar Bomb, China's 120mm Guided Munition can not be ranged into so-called High precision weapon but competitive for cheaper price.

Clearly, China unleashed its 120mm Guided Mortar Munitions for overseas markets in Middle East, South Asia and South America. If Iraq or Hizballah militants can get this killing weapon in black-market, U.S. and Israel land forces will have to deal with a more formidable game.

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