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Why Ukrainians Need Mortars to Launch Drone-Dropped VOG Grenades

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Filed tests of a Ukrainian unique grenade-launching mortar / Photo credit: 108th Territorial Defense Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Filed tests of a Ukrainian unique grenade-launching mortar / Photo credit: 108th Territorial Defense Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Regardless of the current trend towards high-tech weapons, it's still necessary to make simple and lightweight anti-personnel options

Recently, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine released photos depicting one of the Territorial Defense brigades testing a domestically produced small-caliber mortar designed for firing two types of VOG high-explosive-fragmentation grenades, originally intended to be fired from automatic grenade launchers.

The firing technique for such mortars is noteworthy: the grenade is placed into a special tube, which is then inserted into the mortar barrel; sliding down the bore, the VOG primer is ignited, resulting in a shot.

Read more: ​U.S. Might Have Found the Source of 203mm Rounds to Feed Ukrainian Pion Artillery
Filed tests of a Ukrainian unique grenade-launching mortar
Filed tests of a Ukrainian unique grenade-launching mortar / Photo credit: 108th Territorial Defense Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

While the mortar's name, manufacturer, and attack range remain undisclosed, it's emphasized that "the predicted stability of hits in the selected area is considered a success."

Filed tests of a Ukrainian unique grenade-launching mortar
Filed tests of a Ukrainian unique grenade-launching mortar / Photo credit: 108th Territorial Defense Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Reading between the lines of the General Staff's report, it implies that these mortars are already being widely distributed to the Ukrainian Defense Forces (not just the army but also other security forces engaged in repelling the russian aggression). This presents a somewhat paradoxical situation because the weapon shown above looks more like a makeshift development that was decided to enter mass production.

All the more so because there is a more familiar and widespread tool for delivering grenades onto enemy positions: aerial drones equipped with drop mechanisms.

a Ukrainian FPV drone with a simple drop mechanism for the delivery of a grenade onto the enemy
Illustrative photo: a Ukrainian FPV drone with a simple drop mechanism for the delivery of a grenade onto the enemy / Photo credit Steel Hornets

From another perspective, though, there may be valid reasons for providing the Ukrainian infantry with both drones and these small-caliber mortars for launching VOGs.

Judging by the released photos, the design of these mortars appears simple enough for relatively mass and low-cost production, enabling the supply of as many mortars as needed to frontline infantry units.

The complete absence of electronics in the design means that these small-caliber mortars can deploy VOGs irrespective of the prevalence or density of russian EW equipment.

After all, Ukrainian forces require all kinds of weapons, even improvised ones, as long as they can be mass-produced and effectively neutralize the russian invasion forces.

Filed tests of a Ukrainian unique grenade-launching mortar
Filed tests of a Ukrainian unique grenade-launching mortar / Photo credit: 108th Territorial Defense Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Furthermore, small-caliber mortars for VOGs are not the first type of improvised weapon observed in the ranks of the Ukrainian Defense Forces, which has now become mass-produced.

Previously, Defense Express reported the revival of light MLRS-class weapons in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, perhaps the best countermeasure against russian "cannon fodder assaults."

Read more: ​Ukrainian Border Guards Showed How Their Mini-MLRSs Will Eliminate russian Infantry (Photo)