The Swiss Ministry of Defense, officially called the Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport, announced last week that it has approved the purchase of new 120mm mortars for the Swiss Army. The ministry signed a production contract for 32 mortars and carrier vehicles with General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS)-Mowag and the Swiss company RUAG AG. The value of the contract, which also includes 12 trucks, ammunition, logistics equipment and the adaptation of 16 existing command vehicles, is estimated to be approximately €367 million.
GDELS-Mowag will manufacture and supply the Pirhana IV 8x8 armored vehicles, while RUAG will manufacture and supply the Cobra 120mm mortars.
According to the Swiss ministry, since 2010, when its type 64/91 mortars were decommissioned, the combat battalions have not had indirect fire support with 120mm, and the ability to shoot steeply has been lost for the benefit of fighting in built-up areas. There is a need to close this gap, and with the new 120mm mortar, the ministry says, the army will regain this capability and have a modern, powerful and precise system that is well suited for use in built-up areas.
Photo: Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport