U.S. army orders $50m worth of advanced mortars from Israeli firm

Soltam Systems beat French firm Thompson Brandt for the contract
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The United States Army is buying no-recoil mortars from Israeli defense company Soltam Systems, in a deal estimated at about $50 million. Soltam has already received an advance payment of $1 million.

The advanced mortars will be installed on a new version of armored vehicle for rapid-deployment forces.

Soltam Systems President Itzhak Fried said that Soltam Systems beat the French company Thompson Brandt Armaments. The U.S. army already uses Soltam mortars, which helped the company win the current contract.

The Soltam gear is part of a greater U.S. army plan build a new force of storm troopers. The total cost of the project is estimated at $4 billion. Each of six storm brigades will be getting six armored vehicles mounted with the advanced mortars.

An innovation in Soltam's new mortar is that like cannons, it stifle shock waves when fired. It also has a central rotation axis, expnding its firing range to 360 degrees. Older mortars had a range of 180 degrees and used a rear-oriented aaxis.

Soltam's solution also enables aiming and navigation systems to be installed, as well as a servo system that powers the system through the engine, as is done in tanks. The mortan can also be installed with flame retardent systems.