The approval for series production follows rigorous testing of the first series production system, or series sample, of the 120mm Mörser 16 since mid-2023. These tests have verified the technical, tactical, and logistical specifications of the system, leading to armasuisse’s acceptance and approval for mass production.
The manufacturing of the 48 mortar systems will take place in Kreuzlingen and Tägerwilen. This production includes 32 systems from the Army Program 2016 and an additional 16 systems from the Army Program 2022 (2nd tranche).
Development of the 12cm Mortar 16 began between 2017 and 2019, based on military requirements and technical specifications. The system underwent troop testing from 2019 to 2020, verifying its military suitability and identifying areas for improvement. These improvements have been incorporated into the series production model, which was delivered on schedule to armasuisse on June 1, 2023.
The system’s verification in late summer 2023 and the successful ballistics tests in Sweden have confirmed the system’s readiness for production. The 12cm mortar project encompasses not only the mortar systems but also various ancillary systems, ammunition revision for compatibility, shrapnel-protected trucks for ammunition supplies, and integration into the existing INTAFF fire management and control system.
The procurement of the mortar systems is split into two tranches, with a total commitment of 579 million francs from the 2016 and 2022 armaments programs. This acquisition marks the Swiss Army’s reinstatement of indirect fire support with 120mm mortars, especially suited for high-trajectory fires in built-up terrain, a capability lost since the retirement of the 64/91 mortar carriers in 2009.