10 POUND 60mm Ultra Light Mortar Adopted by Polish Special Forces Group

The Polish Special Forces support unit Jednostka Wojskowa Nil has ordered a batch of 27 60mm vz. 99 Antos ultralight mortars, following up a previous order earlier this year. MilMag has an excellent article detailing this acquisition and the features of the Czech-engineered Antos, which you can read by clicking the link here.

The 60mm Antos mortar, also previously branded the Norsk USA/DSG Technology iMortar in the USA, is a unique ultra-lightweight medium caliber mortar intended to be carried with light infantry and special forces. In contrast to existing mortars like the 60mm M224 which weigh over 20 kilograms when assembled, the Antos is much ligher, with a total system weight of only 5 kg (~11 lb). It achieves this through a novel design which eliminates the traditional bipod, reduces the mass of the baseplate (which is fixed, instead of removable), and incorporates the use of an innovative liquid sighting system that uses a body of liquid to indicate the ranging distance. Perhaps most significantly, the Antos requires only a single operator, where existing mortars require a gunner plus assistants. A video showing the Antos in operation is embedded below:

To illustrate how significant the 60mm Antos mortar’s weight savings could be, take the mass of a 3-man mortar team carrying 30 rounds. With the mortar plus ammunition, this arrangement weighs 63.1 kilograms, or about 21 kilograms per person. With the 60mm Antos, each member of that team could carry 11 rounds, an Antos, and fire it without assistance, for an equivalent load.

The Antos is not a replacement for the existing mortar, as it reportedly cannot duplicate its performance. Durability and barrel life of the Antos is apparently reduced, and the mortar is effective only to 1,230m, much less than the 3,000m + of the M224. However, it’s not difficult to see how incorporating mortars of this type into small special operations forces reconnaissance teams, or even at platoon level in a regular force during certain operations, would be a serious force multiplier.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • PK

    Nice, really bringing back the WWII idea of pocket artillery, but with modern materials!

    I really like the thought of a modern M19.

    • PK
      • SGT Fish

        yep. sarco has them in stock actually. demilled ones for 500 bucks.

        • PK

          Price must have gone up, I bought one for $400 or so.

          • SGT Fish

            ive been kicking around doing the same. haven’t pulled the trigger yet. but I know ill miss out again just like I did the $700 complete 60mm mortars and the lakeside razorback and many many other opportunities I passed on to regret later. Oh, add to that $3.5k M11’s setup with Lage uppers and other parts while I had cash in hand. Now their $8K and I don’t have that cash anymore…

          • B. Young

            you can make reduced bore insert and shoot inert projectiles with a fuse and black powder.Projectiles I’ve seen are PVC pipe filled with Quikrete.

          • jcitizen

            There is a remanufactured German mortar out there that is BATF approved to shoot dummy rounds, using that looks like 20 gauge shotshell squibs. I’m jealous, even though it would be easy to make, I’d rather have one with the ATF letter to cover my behind.

  • crackedlenses

    This looks pretty nice. More personal artillery is always a good thing.

  • Black Dots

    Dang, that is one lethal-ass toner cartridge.

  • Some Guy

    This reminds me of the type 89 knee mortar the Japanese used during WW2. I love the idea of bringing more ranged explosive weapons like this and the type 89 to the infantry after the type 89 proved to be rather effectiv for the Japs.

    • DR.NUMBERS

      Yep, I was gonna say it seems to be a reimagining of the knee mortar using modern materials.

      • 191145

        The japs mortar would break your leg if you used your knee! Think about it for a minute.

        • Harry Canyon

          Yes, but the nickname stuck because of the curved butt plate.

    • gunsandrockets

      Double the range and 1.5 times the shell weight of the old Type 89 grenade discharger.

      Even so there were features that the Type 89 had that are still very useful to have in a short range hand held mortar.

      My all time favorite model weapon of this type though, remains the Mdle F1 LGI

    • Darren Hruska

      Exactly what I was going to mention. What’s old is new again. Soon, machine gun bayonets will make a comeback.

  • Cal S.

    Where can I get one?

    • JW 2305, 04-520 Warszawa 106, skr. poczt. 13

      • Cal S.

        I’m already packed…

  • SGT Fish

    ive seen this before in a different video. its pretty sweet and looks to be really effective

  • jamezb

    Great concept. I’m betting they are easily produced, and even with a limited lifespan, what a force multiplier! They aren’t a great deal larger than a single use LAW rocket was, and look what kind of chaos those created with a one shot lifespan!

  • stephenfshaw

    I fail to see how this is “novel” or even a material improvement over the M224 in handheld mode (wight 8-90 kilos, range 1300m, no bipod, single operator, etc.)

    • noob

      The fancy liquid sight might improve first round hit performance?

      • SGT Fish

        I think there was some kind of computer controlled sight that was designed for this. almost like the trackingpoint rifles where the round fired when you had it at the right angle/orientation. they don’t show that in this video though

        • Samuel Millwright

          Even if there isn’t one now, it would be pretty easy to make and integrate a very light version of such devices with stuff like envg already starting to be issued…

          In a very real way this would be a much better platform to integrate the tracking point style digital triggering interlock, since every single mortar is heavy and thus precious to dismounted infantry.

          Not only that but it might also take some wind out of the asinine gpc 1200 meter cartridge for everyone BS!

          If you’re pinned down by a well bedded MG position with an elevation advantage THIS is the type of stuff you kill it with!

          • Marlon

            You may have just thought of the first viable use of the tracking point yet.

          • Samuel Millwright

            LOL thanks i think…

        • noob

          yikes! so if the no2 man loses count he could double load while the no 1 man is hunting for the firing solution?

      • CommonSense23

        The M224 has a liquid sight if I remember correctly.

    • CommonSense23

      It’s going to weight 7 pounds less than the M224 in handheld mode.

    • Lemdarel

      It’s 4kg’s (8.8lb’s) lighter than the M224 in single operator mode. That’s and extra 2-3 rounds of ammunition that can be taken along. Other than that I don’t think there is an if difference.

    • stephenfshaw

      I think @Lemdarel and @CommonSense23 nailed it. Other than a decent weight reduction (the value of which should never be underrated), this pretty much replicates the state of the art as presently employed in the M224A1.

      It just gives me serious pause when articles like this are written in a way that a) demonstrates no knowledge of the technology or b) intentionally hides information (i.e. referencing a 20+ kg weight for M224 but failing to indicate that is conventionally employed).

      I also question whether shooting this thing off a car tire (see video) is just a good way to break your wrist(s).

      • Honest question, where did I fail to indicate that was conventionally employed? I explicitly say the Antos has no bipod where the M224 as configured does. I can, if you like, try to clarify this further.

        Yes, you can use the M224 in individual mode, but it’s still 7 pounds heavier and has no sighting unit. The Antos has a built-in sighting unit.

        Moreover, the Antos (like the South African M4 60mm) can be carried loaded I believe, while the M224 cannot. This puts it somewhere in-between the M224, M3 MAAWS, and AT4 in the kind of weapon it is.

        Not unprecedented at all, as you can see I reference the 1920s-era Type 89 mortar in the tags. However, it seems to me that the Antos is a much lighter, slicker and user-friendly piece of kit than the M224 in individual mode. It’s not as capable as the M224 in conventional config, of course, but it’s not designed to be.

      • Flounder

        LOL I saw that in the video and was like WTF is this dude doing! THIS is the PROFESSIONAL!?!?! Is the amateur dead?

        The mortar flies off that tire and almost takes the user with it!

    • Way I see it, it’s light enough that you could sprinkle it into an SF recon team or regular platoon for a firepower boost.

      You could do that with a handheld M224 as well, but it’s not as convenient and would probably require 2 men for comfortable transport.

      • CommonSense23

        Define comfortable transport? Carried a M224 for hand held use a good bit.

        • I mean, depends how much ammo. I have no doubt at all you could carry an M224 and a few rounds comfortably. Seen photos and videos of people doing it.

    • Flounder

      It is half the weight? That is 10lbs dude!!! Big difference.

      The real point of this mortar is to get mortar/artillery to units who would otherwise not be able to have it.
      OR
      To carry more shells. Because screw that house! And ALL its friends.

  • SGT_B

    Now all they need to do is to scale the XM395 guided 120mm mortar round down to 60mm and we’d really be cooking with gas.

    • noob

      Also those camera equipped parachute observation rounds.

      • Bobby Hopkins

        just get a drone.

  • Phillip Cooper

    Very cool. I expect the Kildar will want a few dozen.

    • Brett baker

      A 120-lb. Redhead shooting one of these from the hip in heels would be great!

  • noob

    “Stop calling it the iMortar! It’s the Apple Mortar smartmortar.”

  • return of the knee mortars?

    • jcitizen

      That’s what it reminded me of. Seems like my uncle hated those things, as the Japs could always lob one in your shorts if you weren’t careful! They were way more effective than hand grenades, even the the projectile was similar.

  • Finally! A truck gun that meets *my* needs.

  • Legge

    How does a liquid sight work? Any pictures?

    • Judging from the photos, it probably works along the lines of a spirit level.

  • John McPherson

    Finally a replacement for the M19

  • Pedro Vaz

    Austrian “Hirtenberger M6C” is very similar.

  • DC

    Are these free hand mortar things actually effective? Seem to vaguely aimed?

    • CommonSense23

      If you know how to use them they can be highly effective.

    • Wow!

      I’m not sure how these mortars work (I’ve been taught on one as an emergency [non-military, so I may be missing some important details] but never actually had to test it in practice), but probably in the same concept where each round has a certain power and trajectory, and to increase power you clip on these little donuts full of pistol powder which increase the trajectory’s range. Based on existing data (which is kind of how a sniper ranges his target) you figure out the best power to fire at, fire, then have a spotter quickly note the impact point and adjust your aim accordingly. Definitely it isn’t a one shot hit kind of deal (which is why carrying enough ammo is more important than having enough mortars), and not something you can employ with reckless abandon but they do give you capabilities that a single fireteam alone normally would not have. Kind of like a 40mm grenade launcher in practice, and also why there is great debate between wither a m203 or a m224 is more important. Both kind of have their place but I do like the concept of the M203 more due to its lighter weight (which means you can carry more projectiles increasing your chance of success even though the effective radius is much much smaller.

  • Brett baker

    I NEED!!!!!

  • pablo4twenty

    bad ass!

  • J-

    SHOULDER FIRE THAT THING YOU SISSY!!!

  • Raginzerker

    When will these be avaliable to the public? I need something for varmint control.

    • Wow!

      Bunkerbuster for the gopher’s bunkers.

      • Raginzerker

        That’s how I’ll keep them out of the wood pile…

  • 22winmag

    Firearms not Light Artillery.

  • feetpiece _

    Modern Knee mortar, finally. How many spine injuries is the VA paying for 😆

  • kcoz

    The M224 does have a liquid sight.

  • And Poland has already around 100 of those, used not only by SOF but also by airborne.

  • Budi Utomo

    Neat. 5kg, about the same weight as an old school rifle. We used the Type 89 50mm Japanese kneebreaker grenade launcher for years, it was very effective. The Taki weighed only 4.5 kg, range 120m – 650m and 20-25 rounds per minute (2/3 person operating)- so a platoon can bring huge amount of mortar fire in either defence or offence. 50mm grenade is quite effective in jungle warfare, 60mm would be even better. However- like bullet calibres- there are always trade-offs- which is better: more but shorter range 50mm, or less mortars but better range and improved blast radius 60mm? Tricky and no real answer.

  • 61mech

    We had a 2 man team with one of these in every platoon. You could hump a surprising amount of ammo if you spread it out in the platoon. It also used a bubble sight similar in concept to a level. Very useful for target marking and illum as well. We also had a 6 shot milkor 40mm in every squad btw.
    My gunner got really talented with the patmor after some experience. He could put 6 in the air before the first one hit. After 2 or 3 fire for effect rounds he could regularly hit a tank range target at 800m. Not a bad solution to the “overmatch” problem they are talking about nowadays.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c7ba4307a0f073ac3fb21691322d4a75a03adfacc0744c5968c695e17abe3eb7.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1f70539425626cb56a699d9cd07cd84a8cabebe7290dcc5038e27b10e27fea2c.jpg

  • mikewest007

    That’s only because the Minister of Defense liked the name.

  • cwolf

    Nice option. Some folks forget that all targets aren’t direct fire ones.

    See also the wwwDOTidexuaeDOTae/__media/libraries/company-brochures/DE6E7078-5056-B74C-7D829830B593E29A-document.pdf

    Although my fantasy ‘mortar’ is one firing the 40×53 smart round.

    Cheers. 🙂

  • Zebra Dun

    More or less a Grenade launcher without a stock on steroids.
    Looks like the old Japanese knee Mortar.

  • Capn Stefano

    OH, LOOKIE! Another ARM that we “free” Americans cannot own because our masters say so

    • Wow!

      A mortar is awfully simple to make. If you needed one, you can make it yourself for under $50 and the rounds are a lot simpler than a rocket. Look up Ragnar Bensons book for details. The 2A is enforced and defended by the people, not politics.

  • Bobby Hopkins

    like to get me one of those!!!!!

  • 60mm “commando” mortars are old hat — even lightweight ones like this. Never intended to replace 60mm tripod mounted mortars like the US M224. More of a bigger, more powerful grenade launcher.

    Heck, in WWII, every single British parachute rifle section (ten men) had a 2″ (52mm to most post-war militaries that still issued them) mortar, and every “leg” rifle platoon had one. (Realistically, the old 2″ was pretty close in performance to the standard 40x46mm GL round we’ve been using since before Vietnam.)

    This is really only “new” to Americans because, ever since the M79, we’ve had GLs organic to the rifle squad and fire team to do the same job.

  • jcitizen

    Would it have been that difficult to make the handle a snap out bipod? I realize that in a fix, that extra step would probably be skipped; but if you have the time, why not? Seems like that could be so simple, and wouldn’t add an ounce of weight.

  • Hyok Kim

    Looks like an update of WW2 Japanese ‘Knee mortars’.

  • J0h1

    In Finland Tampella experimented with a one-person 60 mm mortar already back in the 1990’s, but in the trials its lethal and wounding range was deemed as too short as well as accuracy was thought to be insuffcient for the lethal range of the shells. The Tampella prototype also had no bipod, just the barrel and the baseplate.
    The project was scrapped and no final product ever came out.

    So that’s not a new invention, but it looks like the Polish have invented it a bit further.

  • ONTIME

    When Mao ruled China there were women combat teams that used one man mortars…this new Polish version looks to be a game changer for a surprise assault team…….be great for killing pigs….