M120, 120mm Mortar
Towed Heavy Field Mortar
The American Army M120 mortar is nothing more than the proven Israeli Soltam K6 series.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
The M120 Mortar System is the Israeli Soltam K6 120mm heavy field mortar in United States Army service. The weapon was adopted by American forces during 1991 and retains the same form and function as its Israeli counterpart. Due to its size and weight, the weapon is transported via the M1100 series trailer into action. Vehicle-mounted forms of the same weapon are known as the M121 and have appeared with Stryker IFV and M113 APC mortar carrier platforms. The M326 MSS (Mortar Stowage System) is another vehicle-mounted form, though designed with a quick-release function to allow the weapon to be settled on terrain in short order.
The M120 Mortar System constitutes the launch tube, optics, baseplate, and bipod support. 4.7" (120mm) projectiles are fed down the muzzle and impact upon an awaiting pin to actuate the projectile's launch process. A trained crew can fire up to sixteen rounds per minute with four rounds in sustained actions. Firing ranges reach out to 7,900 yards. The complete system weighs in at a hefty 320lbs - though rather lightweight for a "heavy" minded battlefield weapon. A typical operating crew is five personnel and the traditional mover vehicle is an M998 HUMVEE.
The M120 is cleared to fire various High-Explosive (HE) projectiles as well as illumination, precision, smoke, and practice rounds.
The Soltam K6 series is in service worldwide with key operators in Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Iraq, Mexico, Taiwan, and Turkey among others. The M120 is just one of several mortar forms deployed by the United States armed forces - each procured to achieve a specific battlefield role based on caliber and operating weight.