USMC Developing New Mortar for Expeditionary Fire Support System

120mm EFSS mortar (image : General Dynamics)

The US Marine Corps (USMC) is moving forward with plans to increase the range and accuracy of its 120 mm Expeditionary Fire Support System (EFSS) by developing a new mortar round.

The Precision Extended Range Munition (PERM), to be used with the EFSS' M327 rifled towed mortar, is being developed as an extended-range precision-guided round that could provide accuracy of within at least 20 m at ranges around 17 km.

Contracts for PERM's 24-month engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase were awarded to Raytheon teamed with Israel Military Industries, as well as to ATK teamed with EFSS' lead contractor General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS).

EFSS mortar (photo : marine corps times)

Raytheon announced its contract on 22 January 2013 and ATK revealed its contract on 13 December 2012.

The vendors are to design, develop, test, and deliver production-representative mortars for a USMC live-fire demonstration within 18 months, Raytheon said in a statement.

Michael Means, the company's business development lead for PERM, told IHS Jane's that the new rounds expand EFSS' family of mortars and "adds range and accuracy", which means that the system could be able to accomplish fires missions with less ammunition.

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