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Mortar fire

Genetk44

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I ran across this video last night...its iraqi bad guys fireing a mortar....I'm just wondering if anybody can explain the cause of the explosion at the end...I'm pretty sure the previous round had left the tube.....so, defective round? or some type of counter-battery fire???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_GcR-8QKps

Cheers
Gene
 

Michael OLeary

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I would say it was a faulty fuse resulting in a 'bore premature' explosion.  If the safety features in the fuse are defective, the safety setbacks can fail to hold the plunger on the nose of the fuse forward when the round accelerates.  If this happens the round and the outer casing of the fuse accelerate at a faster rate than the plunger does against its spring, which then can trigger the explosion of the round, the same action which occurs when the plunger is driven back on impact.
 

Michael OLeary

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Very rarely, for a modern fuse it requires a number of mechanical failures to occur simultaneously, and likely compounded by "operator error" (e.g., safety pins being very difficult to remove is one possible indicator).  Since first qualifying on 81 mm mortars in 1980, I've only seen it happen once. The mortar crew did the right thing and set the round (white phosphorus) aside, safety staff decided to overrule their decision not to fire it and ordered it fired.  One soldier lost the fingers of his right hand as a result.  It could have been much worse.

There was also a range accident in Germany in the late 70s.  From talking to a number of NCOs who were staff on that range, I suspect it was a similar type of ammo malfunction.
 

Scoobie Newbie

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Michael O`Leary said:
Very rarely, for a modern fuse it requires a number of mechanical failures to occur simultaneously, and likely compounded by "operator error" (e.g., safety pins being very difficult to remove is one possible indicator).  Since first qualifying on 81 mm mortars in 1980, I've only seen it happen once. The mortar crew did the right thing and set the round (white phosphorus) aside, safety staff decided to overrule their decision not to fire it and ordered it fired.  One soldier lost the fingers of his right hand as a result.  It could have been much worse.

I hope something came out of that incident.

There was also a range accident in Germany in the late 70s.  From talking to a number of NCOs who were staff on that range, I suspect it was a similar type of ammo malfunction.
 

1feral1

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Genetk44 said:
I ran across this video last night...its iraqi bad guys fireing a mortar....I'm just wondering if anybody can explain the cause of the explosion at the end...I'm pretty sure the previous round had left the tube.....so, defective round? or some type of counter-battery fire???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_GcR-8QKps

Cheers
Gene

Hello to all fellow members and guests!

This is what happens when ammo is left out to the elements, stored or buried (often loose with no proper encasement) without proper preservation. In Iraq ammo is everywhere, crudly stored in cashes along with everthing else required for the dirty work.

Ammo can be North Korean, PRC, Russian, Iranian or other Com-Bloc sponsor. In my opinion these natures of ammo are not Q1 by western standard, and the level of accuracy in assembly must be questioned. Age, etc are also factors. Poor training too may also be factored in.

It is not known the condition of the tube itself, possible obstruction wear, or deterioration on the inside can also have issues.

There is more to inspecting a tube than looking down the bore. Normally a tube is inspected after so many EFCs, scoring and the actual measurement at various lengths from the muzzle to the base to determine its service life left. Normally done by EME elements on annual TIs, and filled out in a log book, which accompanies the mortar. Its obvious the insurgents have no maintenance programme, so its hit and miss.

On watching this clip frame by frame, it looks like the initiation of the premature 'event' is at or near the base of the tube.

Whatever happened, there is one less insurgent out there, amd he got his just reward.


Happy days,

OWDU
 

daftandbarmy

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In other conflicts, covert operatives have been able to sabotage ammunition obtained by insurgents to achieve similar results.
 

MrGnr27

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I must agree.
Based on what we see in Afghanistan, the Bad Guys' ammunition comes from everywhere, and is almost always in varying stages of disintegration.
Weapons maintenance in non-existent as well.
Personally, I am okay with this. If the Insurgents want to continue with their own version of FRP, good for them !!!
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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MrGnr27......keep safe over there my friend.

....and don't wait another 3 years to post.

Monkley- The Grip Master 8)
 

The Bread Guy

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Isn't this what they call, in some circles, an "own goal"?
 
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