Artillery / Mortars / L16

L16

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Mortar

  • ORIGIN
    United Kingdom

  • NICKNAMES
    F2 (Australian designation)
    M252 (USA designation)

  • DESIGNED
    1956 - early 1960's

  • DESIGNER
    RARDE

  • PRODUCTION
    1965 - present

  • PRODUCERS
    Japan - Howa
    United Kingdom - Royal Ordnance
    United States - Watervliet arsenal

  • QUANTITY
    Over 5.000

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Long range
    Limited weight
    Good rate of fire
    Expensive

Introduction

The L16 is a smoothbore 81mm mortar of UK origin. It was introduced in 1965 to replace the 76mm ML 3-inch mortar in British service. At the time of introduction the L16 was far more capable than other mortars in the same category.

Layout

The L16 is a smoothbore muzzle loaded mortar with a conventional layout. It consists of a strong and heavy tube on a round baseplate. The bipod that houses the sight assembly is unconventional as it essentially is a monopod with a strut to ensure stability.

Firepower

The L16 fires its own new range of 81mm rounds, but older rounds can be used as well. The maximum range is 5.7 km. The sustained rate of fire is 15 rounds per minute.

Mobility

The L16 mortar can be disassembled in three loads which can be transported over short distances by infantry. The L16 has also been mounted in a variety of vehicles including the FV432 and Bv-206.

Users

The primary users of the L16 mortar are the UK and the USA, which uses it in the M252 variant. It has been exported to many nations and over 5.000 have been produced.

Variants

L16

The L16 is a smoothbore muzzle loaded 81mm mortar with a conventional layout. It fires its own range of 81mm ammunition. The L16A1 is a slightly upgraded version of the L16. The L16A2 introduced a slightly heavier barrel. The US M252 is based on the L16A2 and is fitted with a blast attenuation device on the barrel.

  • Specifications:
  • L16
TypeMortar
Crew?
Ordnance81mm smoothbore mortar
Elevation+45 to +85°
Traverse18°
Rate of fire15 rpm (sustained)
Range100 m tot 5.650 kg
CarriageNone
Weight39.6 kg
Length1.28 m overall
Width?
Height?
Towing vehicle-
Speed-
Remarks-

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