UAE orders Agrab mortar systems, SA could benefit

Written by defenceWeb

Thursday, 05 May 2011 14:22

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces has awarded the International Golden Group (IGG) an 786 million dirham (US$213.97 million) contract for 72 production Agrab Mk2 mobile mortar systems (MMS), with additional orders anticipated for the near future. The deal may also benefit Rheinmetall Denel Munitions and Denel Land Systems.

Janes International Defence Review reports the mortar system is the latest configuration of the Agrab (Scorpion) Mk1 120mm MMS and the deal was secured following trials of the enhanced model in the Middle East in late 2010.

Media reports in February and March 2007 noted a 390 million dirham (US$106 million) contract to supply the military with 48 of the systems. The reports said the order was the largest deal announced at the IDEX show in February 2007.

The system is a joint development between IGG, ST Kinetics of Singapore, which manufactures the 120mm Super Rapid Advanced Mortar (SRAM) system; South Africa’s Denel Land Systems, which supplies the Arachnida fire control system; Rheinmetall Denel Munitions, which makes the ammunition, and BAE Systems, makers of the RG31 mine-resistant armour protected utility vehicle. Reports credited the Agrab with a range of 8200 meters.

The Denel Arachnida computerised fire control system enables the crew, consisting of a commander, a driver and a loader, to bring the mortar into action within less than a minute after the vehicle stops, reports suggest. The Arachnida is already mounted in the UAE’s Denel 155mm G6 and RDM Technology M109L47 self-propelled howitzers. The SRAM features two carousels each holding 23 rounds and a further twelve rounds are stored in two ready-racks for a total of 58 rounds.

Source: defenceWeb.co.za

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