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Armasuisse Orders Additional 16 Mortar Systems

12cm Mörser 16 on Piranha IV [© Armasuisse]

Switzerland’s Armasuisse has signed a contract with GDELS-Mowag for the production of a further 16 RUAG 12cm mortar systems on Piranha IV.

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Press Release, Bern, 12 April 2023: [auto-translated] The Bundesamt für Rüstung Armasuisse [Swiss Federal Office for Defence Armaments] has signed the contract with the general contractor GDELS-Mowag for the production of a further 16 pieces of 12cm mortar systems. RUAG AG, as a subcontractor of GDELS-Mowag, is supplying the mortar gun. Parliament has approved the procurement of a second tranche of 12cm Mörser 16 with the 2022 Army Embassy. A total of 48 mortar systems are now being procured as part of the project.

RUAG 120mm Cobra mortar on Piranha IV [©RUAG]

With the 2022 armament programme, Parliament approved a commitment credit for the procurement of a second tranche of 12cm Mörser 16 in the amount of CHF 175 million. This includes 16 additional mortar systems, additional armoured trucks for ammunition replenishment and resources for operational logistics.

With the conclusion of the series contract for the first 32 mortar systems, an option for 16 further systems was agreed with the general contractor GDELS-Mowag. This option will now be redeemed.

Additional mortar systems following the ongoing series production: The 32 mortar systems of the first tranche are currently being manufactured. According to the existing schedule, these will be handed over to the troops between 2024 and 2025. The series production of the additional 12cm mortar 16 takes place downstream. The delivery to the troops is planned for these systems from 2026. Due to the commissioning of further material as part of the project addendum (in particular ammunition), the projected completion of the project has been postponed from 2026 to 2029.

RUAG 120mm Cobra mortar on Piranha IV [©RUAG]

About the project 12cm Mortar 16: With the 2016 Army Dispatch, the Federal Parliament approved the 12cm Mörser 16 project. The overall package originally included 32 mortar systems (carrier vehicle and mortar gun), 12 trucks, ammunition, logistics material and the adaptation of 16 existing command vehicles. The wheeled infantry fighting vehicle Piranha IV 8×8 from GDELS-Mowag (also general contractor for the weapon system) is used as the carrier vehicle and the Cobra weapon system from RUAG AG is used as the mortar gun. The commitment credit from the 2016 armaments programme is CHF 404 million. With the 2022 armament programme, Parliament approved a commitment credit of CHF 175 million for the second tranche of the 12cm Mörser 16.

Aim and purpose of the project: The mine thrower tanks 64/91 were decommissioned in 2010. Since then, the combat battalions no longer have any indirect fire support with 12cm mortars. In particular, the ability for steep fire in the upper angle group was lost in favour of fighting in the built-up area. With the new 12cm mortar gun, the army will regain this ability and have a modern, powerful and accurate system that is suitable for use in built-up terrain.

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