Joint Development with Elbit Systems Reduces Collateral Damage
The Israeli MoD, IDF Ground Forces and Elbit Systems have revealed IRON STING, a “networked precision fire system” centred on a laser/GPS-guided 120mm mortar munition that enables precision target engagement while minimising collateral damage. Following successful trials, system development is now complete, the MoD stated on 14 March.
“The technology made available to the IDF by Israeli industries changes the battlefield and provides our forces with more accurate and effective means. The integration of IRON STING in the IDF corresponds to the vision presented in the military’s ‘Tnufa’ multi-year plan. It also fulfils the IDF’s needs, adapting combat capabilities to contend with enemies hidden within civilian, urban environments, while meeting the legal and moral standards set by the State of Israel,” stated Defence Minister, Benny Gantz.
The series of tests was carried out using two networked cardom mortar systems – cardom indicating the use of an autonomous, computerised system for vehicle mounting – developed by Elbit Systems: a cardom system mounted on an M113 and a ‘cardom spear’ system, mounted on a HUMMER 4X4 SUV. IRON STING is designed for precision target engagement in both open terrain and urban environments, while reducing potential collateral damage and preventing injury to non-combatants. Its operational use will revolutionise ground warfare and equip battalions with organic, accurate and effective firepower, the MoD stated.
“Ten years of research and development have led us to this moment when we can provide the IDF’s ground forces with advanced capabilities made for the modern battlefield. This laser- and GPS- guided mortar munition provides troops with a precise firing capability that has only been implemented in missiles and air munition thus far. This is a very complex programme and a groundbreaking system on the international level,” explained Bgen Yaniv Rotem, Head of R&D in the MoD’s Directorate of Defence R&D.
Head of the Weapons Department in the IDF’s Ground Forces, Col Arik Avivi, added “The Ground Forces command is leading the process of integrating the IRON STING into the IDF. This precise guided mortar munition is groundbreaking for IDF battalions, equipping them with accurate and organic firepower. This capability has so far been reserved to large and complex missiles. Thanks to this impressive technological development, it will now be implemented in mortar munitions on a wide scale.”
“The introduction of this laser and GPS guided munition transforms the mortar system from a statistical fire power into a precision fire system, thus delivering a significant change in fire capabilities at the tactical level. We believe that we have been able to develop an efficient solution that enables to increase precision and reduce collateral damage,” observed Yehuda Vered, General Manager of Elbit Systems Land Division.