Jack Richardson and Gerhard Heiming
The U.S. Army aims to increase the effectiveness of the rapid, precise, indirect and direct fire capabilities of the combat forces in its Tank and Stryker Brigades, while ensuring that the operating crews are better protected and their physical stress reduced.
To this end, the service has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Patria to determine the feasibility of installing a turret-like, sealed 120 mm mortar weapon system in US mortar carriers. The work will assess the capabilities of the Patria NEMO Mortar System against the military requirements of the U.S. Army and the compatibility with the weapon platforms and fire control systems of US mortar carriers will be tested. Additionally, it will be assessed whether the fielded American 120 mm mortar ammunition can be used with the NEMO mortar (with breech). This comes after the U.S. Army published a market survey in late 2018 to identify capable sources to develop and produce the 120mm Mortar Future Indirect Fire Turret (FIFT), to which Patria responded.
Jussi Järvinen, President of Patria’s Land Business Unit, said, “For Patria this is a very significant step in turreted mortars breakthrough. We are ready to deliver NEMO mortars for US Army when the agreed program is accomplished.”
Järvinen added that the deal is a ‘logical continuation’ of cooperation between Patria and the U.S. Government under the Foreign Military Sales programme, a form of security assistance that authorises the U.S. to sell defence equipment and services to foreign countries.
The Patria NEMO is a remote-controlled, turreted, 120-mm mortar system which can fire both directly and indirectly, employing up to 6 grenades with Multiple Rounds of Simultaneous Impact (MRSI). Patria’s NEMO is not only highly protected, but also lightweight, compact and easy to install on light tracked undercarriages, wheeled armoured vehicles or naval vessels. Launched in 2006, it is currently in service with Finland, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Slovenia. The latter was the launch customer and host platforms include Patria’s 8×8 AMV and the Swedish CB90.