F2 (Australian designation)
M252 (USA designation)
1956 - early 1960's
1965 - present
Japan - Howa
United Kingdom - Royal Ordnance
United States - Watervliet arsenal
- UNIT COST
Good rate of fire
The L16 is a smoothbore 81mm mortar of UK origin. It was introduced in 1965 to replace the 76mm ML 3-inch mortar in British service. At the time of introduction the L16 was far more capable than other mortars in the same category.
The L16 is a smoothbore muzzle loaded mortar with a conventional layout. It consists of a strong and heavy tube on a round baseplate. The bipod that houses the sight assembly is unconventional as it essentially is a monopod with a strut to ensure stability.
The L16 fires its own new range of 81mm rounds, but older rounds can be used as well. The maximum range is 5.7 km. The sustained rate of fire is 15 rounds per minute.
The L16 mortar can be disassembled in three loads which can be transported over short distances by infantry. The L16 has also been mounted in a variety of vehicles including the FV432 and Bv-206.
The primary users of the L16 mortar are the UK and the USA, which uses it in the M252 variant. It has been exported to many nations and over 5.000 have been produced.
The L16 is a smoothbore muzzle loaded 81mm mortar with a conventional layout. It fires its own range of 81mm ammunition. The L16A1 is a slightly upgraded version of the L16. The L16A2 introduced a slightly heavier barrel. The US M252 is based on the L16A2 and is fitted with a blast attenuation device on the barrel.
|81mm smoothbore mortar
|+45 to +85°
|Rate of fire
|15 rpm (sustained)
|100 m tot 5.650 kg
|1.28 m overall