E1095 – M252 81mm Mortar System

The M252 81mm Mortar System was developed under a co-developement agreement with the United Kingdom to replace the M29A1 Mortar. A Blast Attenuation Device (BAD) is attached to the muzzle of the cannon assembly to reduce the blast effects on the mortar crew. The M252 is ideally suited to support airborne, air assault, mountain and light infantry units.
Length: 56 inches (142.24 centimeters)
Bore diameter: 81mm
Elevation: 45 to 85 degrees
Weight:

  • Mortar Assembly: 35 pounds (15.89 kg)
  • Bipod: 26 pounds (11.80 kilograms)
  • Baseplate: 25.5 pounds (11.58 kilograms)
  • Sight Unit: 2.5 pounds (1.14 kilograms)
  • Total: 89 pounds (40.41 kilograms)

Maximum effective range: 5700 meters
Minimum Range: 80 meters

Rates of fire:

  • Maximum: 33 rounds per minute
  • Sustained: 16 rounds per minute

Unit Replacement Cost: $24,717

Type Classified Standard: July 1984
The M252 Mortar System consists of the following major components:

  • M253 Cannon Assembly (35 lbs)
  • M177 Bipod Assembly (27 lbs)
  • M3A1 Baseplate (25.5 lbs)

Features: The M252 81mm Medium Extended Range Mortar is a crew-served, medium weight mortar which is highly accurate and provides for a greater range (4,500 meters to 5,650 meters) and lethality than the previous 81mm mortar. The cannon has a crew-removable breech plug and firing pin. The muzzle end has a short tapered lead-in which acts as a blast attenuator device. The breech end is finned for better cooling. This mortar also uses the standard M64 mortar sight of the 60mm mortar, M224.

Background: This mortar replaced the previous Marine Corps 81mm mortar in 1986. The M252 is an adaptation of the standard British 81mm mortar developed in the 1970s. It is mostly commonly found in the mortar platoon of an infantry battalion.