American 107mm M30 mortar seen in a mortar pit during the Vietnam war.
Source: US Army - © Public domain
The M30 is an early Cold War era mortar of US origin. It was developed in the United States after World War 2 to replace the World War 2 era M2 with a weapon with more range.
The design of the M30 is similar to the World War 2 era M2 Chemical Mortar. Compared to most contemporary designs the M30 is unusual since it does not use a bipod, but a single strut on a square footing. The M30 is a conventional muzzle loaded, drop fired, rifled 107mm mortar.
The M30 is able to fire most ammunition types used by the earlier M2 Chemical Mortar, but a newer range of ammunition was developed to provide increased range. The maximum range is 6.8 km for high explosive shells. Smoke and illumination shells can be fired out to 5.7 km. The maximum rate of fire is 18 rounds per minute, with a sustained rate of fire of 3 rounds per minute.
As the M30 is very heavy, being nearly twice as heavy as the earlier M2 Chemical Mortar. The M30 is transported by tactical truck or carried in a M416A1 trailer and is assembled in a prepared position by its crew. Placing the M30 in a stable firing position is a time consuming effort. Due to its heavy weight many have been fitted on a turntable within a modified M113 armored personnel carrier called the M106.
The M30 replaced the lighter M2 Chemical Mortar in US service and was in widespread use during the Vietnam War. The M30 was in turn replaced in US service by the M120, but many remain in service throughout the world.
The M84 is a mortar carrier based on the chassis of the M59 tracked armored personnel carrier.
The K242A1 is a self-propelled mortar vehicle that is part of the KIFV family of tracked vehicles. It is fitted with a 107mm M30 mortar that fires through large roof hatches.
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