Photo: Israeli MOD

New IDF Iron Sting laser mortar system

Israel has revealed a new ‘networked precision fire system’ called the Iron Sting, which is a mortar munition that employs laser and GPS to engage targets accurately and prevent collateral damage.

According to a statement obtained by TV7 from the Ministry of Defense Spokesperson, the final trial phase of the Iron Sting has been successfully conducted by the Ministry’s Directorate of Defense R&D, IDF Ground Forces and Elbit Systems.

The series of tests was carried out using two networked “Cardom” mortar systems developed by Elbit Systems: a “Cardom” system, mounted on an M113 APC and a “Cardom Spear” system, mounted on a Hummer 4X4 SUV. The Iron Sting is designed to engage targets precisely, in both open terrains and urban environments, while reducing the possibility of collateral damage and preventing injury to non-combatants. Its operational use will revolutionize ground warfare and equip battalions with organic, accurate and effective firepower, said the Defense Ministry statement.

The 120 mm mortar has recently undergone final testing at a site in southern Israel. The completion of testing enables the start of serial production ahead of the system’s supply to the IDF.

Alternate Premier and Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that, “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 fulfills 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.

Brig. Gen. Yaniv Rotem, Head of Research and Development in the DDR&D, said, “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 program and a groundbreaking system on the international level.”

“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,” said Head of the Weapons Department in the IDF’s Ground Forces, Col. Arik Avivi, adding that, “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,” said Elbit Systems Land Division General Manager, Yehuda Vered.