Artillery / Mortars / M66

M66

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Mortar

  • ORIGIN
    Israel

  • NICKNAMES
    -

  • DESIGNED
    Early 1960's

  • DESIGNER
    Soltam

  • PRODUCTION
    1960's - late 1970's, still available

  • PRODUCERS
    Israel - Soltam

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Very powerful
    Long range
    Very heavy
    Limited rate of fire

Introduction

The M66 is a towed 160mm heavy mortar of Israeli origin. It was developed by Soltam in the 1960's to provide a heavy shelling ability for the Israeli armed forces. The M66 is one of the heaviest and most powerful mortars in the world.

Layout

The design is based on the Finnish Tampella M58, but the M66 is a much heavier and sturdier system. It is a breech loaded smoothbore mortar that is operated by 6 to 8 men. When deployed in the firing position the M66 rests on its round base-plate and instead of a bipod the wheels are used to support the weapon.

Firepower

The M66 provides a lot of firepower. It fires 38 kg mortar bombs that does more explosive damage than most 155mm artillery shells. The maximum range is 9.6 km. The rate of fire is somewhat limited.

Mobility

The weight makes the M66 hard to move by hand and in the field. The M66 mortar was also mounted on a Sherman tank chassis resulting in the Makmat self-propelled mortar. This greatly increases mobility, especially in difficult terrain.

Users

The M66 is used by only a handful of nations. It remains in use today, although many are placed in reserve. The Makmat was developed in 1968 and participated in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and 1982 Lebanon War. Nowadays it is in reserve.

Variants

M66

The M66 is a 160mm heavy mortar. It is a breech loaded smoothbore mortar that is operated by 6 to 8 men. The design is based on the Tampella M58, but the M66 is a much heavier and sturdier system. When deployed in the firing position the M66 rests on its round base-plate and instead of a bipod the wheels are used to support the weapon.

  • Specifications:
  • M66
TypeMortar
Crew6 - 8
Ordnance160mm smoothbore mortar, 2.85 m tube
Elevation+43 to +70°
Traverse360° using wheels
Rate of fire?
Range600 m to 9.6 km
CarriageFixed 2 wheel carriage, doubling as bipod in firing position
Weight1.700 kg (firing position), 1.450 kg (travelling without baseplate)
Length?
Width?
Height?
Towing vehicle6x6 truck
Speed?
Remarks-

Makmat

The Makmat is a self-propelled 160mm mortar carrier. It consists of a highly modified Sherman chassis fitted with the M66 mortar. The Makmat makes the M66 much more mobile. The mortar fires over the frontal arc. The Sherman chassis was chosen as it was widely available in Israel and in the 1960's the Sherman was of little use as a main battle tank.

TypeSelf-propelled mortar
Crew6 - 8
Length?
Width?
Height?
Ground clearance?
Weight36 t
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseTracked chassis, 6 roadwheels, drive sprocket front and idler rear
Turn radius?
Engine460 hp
Power ratio12.8 hp/t
Transmission?
Speed?
Fuel?
Range?
Wall?
Trench?
Gradient?
Fording?
ArmorSteel
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionNo
SmokeNo
Remarks-
Armament160mm M66 mortar
12.7mm M2HB heavy MG
Weapon1160mm M66 mortar
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon212.7mm M2HB pintle mounted heavy machine gun
100 rounds ready to fire
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

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