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160mm Soltam M66



Overview


160mm Soltam M66

Side view of Soltam M66 mortar on display in a museum
Source: Bukvoed - © GNU Attribution Share Alike license

Origin
Israel
Type
Mortar
Entered service
Late 1960's
Status
Limited service
Development
Early 1960's
Developer
Israel - Soltam
Production
1960's - Late 1970's
Producer
Israel - Soltam

Description


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 developed in the 20th century.

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 do 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

Details


160mm Soltam M66

160mm Soltam M66 heavy towed mortar on display in a museum.
Source: Bukvoed - © GNU Attribution Share Alike license

Soltam 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.

Facts Soltam M66
General
Origin
Israel
Type
Towed mortar
Crew
6 - 8
Dimensions
Weight
1.700 kg in firing position
1.450 kg travelling without baseplate
Ordnance
Type
160mm smoothbore mortar
Tube length
2.85 m
Loading
Muzzle loaded
Elevation
+43 to +70 degrees
Traverse
360 degrees using wheels
Firepower
Range
9.6 km max
600 m minimum
Carriage
Type
Fixed 2 wheel carriage, doubling as bipod in firing position
Towing vehicle
6x6 truck