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March 14, 2021 2:54 pm

Israeli Defense Ministry, IDF, and Elbit Systems Reveal New ‘Iron Sting’ Laser-Guided Mortar

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Israel’s new Iron Sting mortar. Photo: Israeli Ministry of Defense Spokesperson’s Office.

Israel’s Ministry of Defense, the IDF, and Israeli defense company Elbit Systems unveiled on Sunday a state-of-the-art laser-guided mortar named “Iron Sting,” N12 reported.

The mortar uses a laser combined with GPS to guide it to its targets, and fires a 120mm shell. It recently completed a series of a tests that proved its battlefield effectiveness.

Iron Sting was developed out of two separate systems built by Elbit, and is intended to enable accurate and lethal capability against “quality” targets in both open and densely populated urban areas.

It is designed to limit peripheral and collateral damage, and safeguard the lives of civilians.

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In a press release from Elbit, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that Iron Sting will be part of the IDF’s ongoing Momentum plan to upgrade the army’s capabilities, because it “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 at the Defense Ministry’s Directorate of Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, which was heavily involved in developing Iron Sting — said that “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 is a very complex program and a groundbreaking system on the international level,” he added.

Yehuda (Udi) Vered, General Manager of Elbit Systems Land Division said, “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.”

The head of the Weapons Department of the IDF Ground Forces, Col. Arik Avivi, said Iron Sting “is groundbreaking for IDF battalions, equipping them with accurate and organic firepower.”

“This capability has so far been reserved to large and complex missiles,” he noted. “Thanks to this impressive technological development, it will now be implemented in mortar munitions on a wide scale.”

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