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The international defence community gets its first-ever look at Rheinmetall’s newly developed 60mm mortar for infantry and special operators during in London. Named RSG60, the indirect fire weapon features design and engineering characteristics, which make this product a very lightweight and easy-to-handle weapon for the spectrum of combat missions. Also showcased at the KSK Symposium (Kommando Spezialkräfte; Special Forces Command) near Calw in the northern Black Forest region on Tuesday, the 15.8-kg standard infantry version of the RSG60, thanks to few quick adjustments, can be turned into a commando mortar weighing just 6.8 kilograms. This creates a real ‘two-in-one’ solution that is needed by today’s and tomorrow’s Special Forces units to project firepower in complex mission scenarios. The manufacturer developed an ergonomic, new quick-release carrier system for the RSG60, meaning that the weapon is ready for action or transport in a matter of seconds.

Depending on the ammunition and charges, the standard infantry version can attain ranges of up 3,200 metres. Equipped with a 30cm longer barrel, the range can be easily increased by “around 500m,” according to Rheinmetall. Company representatives confirmed at the KSK Symposium on Tuesday that the commando mortar offers a range of around 2,000 metres.

With a length of some 70cm, the mortar barrel is made of steel with a carbon fibre over-wrap, which assures the necessary stability. It weighs around 30% less than a conventional steel mortar. The base plate is made of carbon fibre composite material. The design characteristics of this indirect fire weapon saves space, and it can be set up and ready to fire within seconds. By loosening the retaining bolts, it is possible to separate the RSG60 from the base plate in around 30 seconds, transforming it into the lightweight commando mortar. These design features will make the RSG60 an indirect fire weapon widely sought by international Special Forces units.

Rheinmetall noted that development of the new mortar began in October 2017 at its Rheinmetall Waffe Munition division. The company’s objective was to augment the Group’s versatile family of 60mm ammunition and existing Rheinmetall Electronics fire control technology with a matching, future-oriented weapon system. Right from the start, development work focused on low weight, speed and ergonomics. Meanwhile, the RSG60 has repeatedly undergone successful test firing.

 Stefan Nitschke

The commando mortar version weighs less than 7 kilograms. (Photos: Rheinmetall)

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