The M-240 is a Soviet Cold War-era smoothbore, heavy-class, vehicle-towed infantry mortar of 240mm caliber. The weapon fires a massive lethal projectile out to ranges of 9,700 meters (increased with rocket-assisted rounds). The weapon has been in service globally since the early-1970s and continues to be found on modern battlefields as a secondary solution.
The complete system utilizes a single-axle, twin-wheeled suspended carriage that features its own anchor / counter balance, sighting device, and elevation gear. The mounting hardware allows the barrel to take a "muzzle-up" stance when ready-to-fire and traversal of the gun tube is 18-degrees from centerline with an elevation span of +45 to +65 degrees. Due to the size and weight of the weapon and its ammunition, a crew of eleven personnel are required for optimal results. This still restricts the system to a rate-of-fire of just one projectile per minute.
The weapon is cleared to fire a variety of battlefield projectile types including High-Explosive (HE), High-Explosive (3F2 "Gagara"), FRAGmentation (HE-FRAG) (3O8 "Nerpa"), nuclear (3B11), and incendiary ("Sayda") types. Projectiles can weigh as much as 290lb.
The vehicle-mounted version of this same weapon is the 2S4 (SM-240) "Tyulpan" tracked carrier detailed elsewhere on this site.
The system has seen combat service since the days of the Cold War and includes exposure in the Yom Kippur War (1973) with Syria, the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan (1985), the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), and the Syrian Civil War (2012-Present). Reports have shown the piece is still in use today during the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War of 2022.
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September 2022 - Reports have shown first-use of the M-240 heavy mortar system by the Ukrainians in the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War.
State Factories - Soviet Union Manufacturer(s)
Bulgaria; Czechoslovakia (former); Egypt; Lebanon (former); Romania (former); Russia; Soviet Union (former); Syria; Ukraine Operators
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