The new Ukrainian mortar MP-120 has passed state tests

The state tests of the new 120-mm MP-120 mortar, which lasted for almost a year and a half, have been completed.

During this time, the mortar was meticulously tested in different operating conditions.

It is stated that a full shot of the barrel resource was fired – more than 5,000 shots.

The manufacturer is a private enterprise LLC “Ukrainian Armored Vehicles”, which, in addition to the production of armored vehicles, since 2016 has mastered the production of a line of mortars.

Testing engineer Volodymyr Kovtun

The developers have improved the shape of the base plate, equipping it with three openers and V-shaped inserts.

These elements push the ground under themselves, not allowing the base plate to be deeply loaded during intensive mortar firing.

Accordingly, it allows, if necessary, to quickly change the position without spending extra time digging up the base plate.

The design of the plate allows you to shoot a mortar in its horizontal position, which is convenient for combat work mortar calculation.

It takes two to three minutes to bring the mortar into combat position and prepare for firing.

Another difference of the new mortar MP-120, which improved its performance, is the lack of a copper obturating ring between the barrel and the breech.

Mortar of 120 mm MP-120 caliber from the Ukrainian Armored Vehicles company

The problem was that during the operation of the mortar, the copper ring burned out and deformed.

Due to this, the mortar calculation often had some difficulties with the replacement or installation of a copper obturating ring during operation.

“We decided to abandon the obturating ring, making instead of additional labyrinth seals in the breech,” – the company’s test engineer Vladimir Kovtun.

Mortar of 120 mm MP-120 caliber from the Ukrainian Armored Vehicles company

This creates additional pressure in the annular cavities, which prevents the powder gases from breaking through the threaded connection of the breech.

The new mortar, in contrast to its analogues, uses a different method of attaching the biped to the pipe of the lifting mechanism.

On older versions of Soviet mortars, the elements of the biped were fixed by conventional welding.

This led to thermal deformation in the mounting position and did not allow the cylinder to be tightly fixed in the pipe of the lifting mechanism, so it just dangled inside.

This increased the horizontal oscillation of the mortar, and, as a consequence, the scattering of mines.

Mortar of 120 mm MP-120 caliber from the Ukrainian Armored Vehicles company

The developers of the MP-120 managed to solve this problem by using mechanical couplings instead of welds, which securely connected the elements of the biped.

This should reduce the horizontal oscillation of the mortar, lateral scattering of mines and improve the cluster of firing.

In addition, the cylinder of the lifting mechanism is slightly raised above the level of the surface in the fighting position, which does not allow it to touch the ground.

Mortar of 120 mm MP-120 caliber from the Ukrainian Armored Vehicles company

It is no longer necessary, as before, to spend extra time digging a hole under it. Therefore, the time to prepare the firing position for firing is reduced.

The developers paid special attention to the completion of such an important element of the mortar’s design as a double-charge fuse.

In the process of state tests, a total of about a dozen improvements of direct safety mechanisms have been made.

Fuses from double charging of Soviet-style mortars were significant design flaws.

As a result, they quickly broke down – they broke, it happened that the tips of the springs of the safety mechanisms protruded from their seats, and the stoppers of the safety mechanisms stopped braking the blades in the open position or even collapsed.

In order not to affect the rate of fire, mortar calculations often removed these safety mechanisms, which sooner or later inevitably led to the throwing of a second mine into the barrel, when the previous one had not yet been fired.

As a result – the rupture of the barrel, the death of personnel.

To prevent this, the new MP-120 mortar implements a number of design solutions aimed at ensuring the reliable operation of springs and stoppers of safety mechanisms, the fundamental exclusion of all factors that previously led to their failure.

Mortar of 120 mm MP-120 caliber from the Ukrainian Armored Vehicles company

In addition, to improve the ergonomic properties of the mortar, the gearbox of the lifting mechanism was moved from the lower position to the upper – to the swivel.

This allowed the gunner to use the appropriate handles to simultaneously hold and control the position of both the lifting and turning mechanisms.

Earlier it was necessary to do it to two numbers of mortar calculation: one twisted the lifting mechanism, the second – rotary.

The design of the gearbox prevents hard impacts of gears during shots and breakage of teeth, which is quite common when using mortars of the old design.

The mortar is equipped with an imported sight, which has ready-made LED illuminators for sight scales, level balls and sighting grid.

The ballistic characteristics of the barrel remained the same, in particular, the maximum firing range is 7100 meters.

At the same time, the survivability of the barrel has increased due to the new manufacturing technology: it is forged from the inside and sealed.

Mortar of 120 mm MP-120 caliber from the Ukrainian Armored Vehicles company

As a result, on the guaranteed resource of 5000 shots received barrel wear of not more than 0.2 mm, the maximum, according to current regulations, is 0.4 mm.

Also, this barrel has a double margin of safety at the maximum pressure of powder gases, which allows the use of promising mortar shots of high power and firing range.

(c)INDUSTRIAL PORTAL UKRAINE 2021

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