Swedish Amphibious Force Acquiring Seaborne Mortars

NEMO Mortar Fast Boat
NEMO Mortar Fast Boat

Sweden’s Amphibious Battalion 2030, the expansion of its Amphibious Corps made a major move in expanding its capabilities with the recent announcement of its procurement of seaborne mortars.

The program’s focus is enhancing coastal protection, naval weapons and artillery platforms, precision and night/limited visibility. The recent announcement by Sweden’s Defense Materiel Administration (Försvarets materielverk -FMV) in a contract with Swede Ship Marine AB for eight 24-meter fast mortar vessels. These mortar boats will provide mobile, responsive sea-based artillery support for the Amphibious Battalions. A 26 May 2023 press release by Patria Defense confirmed that it will be supplying its NEMO 120 mm Turreted Mortar to Swede Ship Marine for the project.

The 24-meter fast boat equipped with the NEMO Mortar Turret delivers accurate, sustained indirect and direct fires while underway even at high speed. It will provide supporting fires for landing forces, engage surface targets on water and land, as well as offering screening smoke and illumination when needed. Fire missions may be direct engagements, controlled by a forward observer or by a boat-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle.

The NEMO mortar system is semi-automatically loaded with full stabilization and automated digital fire control. It can deliver fires using all current 120mm mortar ammunition including high explosive, smoke, illumination, and precision guided projectiles like the infrared seeker equipped Bofors Dynamics STRIX.

NEMO has a maximum firing range of 9800 meters using the NAMMO Extended Range projectile. It can also conduct Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) fire missions with one tube delivering up to six rounds on to the same target at the same time. This function is automatically programmed and conducted by the fire control system. Patria indicated that the system further provides for several NEMO mortars to coordinate allowing individual systems to engage the same target or series of targets.

Deliveries under the contract will begin in 2026 with training and two systems. This will be followed by the balance of the NEMO equipped fast boats beginning in 2027. It is noteworthy that the NEMO, according to Patria, is already in service with the Swedish Army which could facilitate the smooth fielding of the naval systems with which it is common.

The Försvarets materielverk -FMV web site for the Amphibious Battalion 2030 program actually reflects a requirement for twelve Mortar Boats, so it is possible that procurement of additional systems could occur in the future. The 24-Meter NEMO Mortar Fast Boats will enhance the capability of the Amphibious Corps to conduct rapid response operations to potential intrusions into the Baltic Archipelago with a combined arms force. It also illustrates the state of collaboration being established between Swedish and Finnish militaries and their defense industries.

by Stephen W. Miller